The Federal Government’s HomeBuilder scheme continues to be a boon for Goulburn Valley builders, with the $25,000 grant on offer driving strong sales and helping protect jobs across the entire construction industry.

Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, said builders operating in the Nicholls electorate were experiencing their busiest period in memory, due primarily to the HomeBuilder scheme that was announced by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in early June.

Mr Drum this morning joined Master Builders Victoria and Justin Marshall of Solar City Eco Homes at the site of a renovation in Tatura where a HomeBuilder grant triggered the works.

Mr Drum said more than 6100 HomeBuilder applications had been made in Victoria (as at November 6) – representing a third of all applications nationally. Of the Victorian applications, almost 5000 are for new builds.

“The data and first-hand stories all suggest that HomeBuilder is proving to be one of the most successful and effective stimulus measures implemented by the Federal Government in the wake of the economic fallout caused by COVID-19,” Mr Drum said.

“Not only has HomeBuilder significantly upped demand for builders and other tradespeople, it will allow many Nicholls electorate residents to enter the housing marketing who otherwise would have been unable to.”

Master Builders Victoria chief executive Rebecca Casson said HomeBuilder had helped claw back most of what was lost in regional areas in the wake of COVID-19.

“In March, builders in the Goulburn Valley were facing the sort of uncertainty that would have seen jobs lost and even businesses perish,” Ms Casson said.

“The introduction of the HomeBuilder grant has seen demand increase and businesses like Solar City Eco Homes have been able to keep on apprentices, helping our industry to get out of the hole it was in from March to July.

“Building and construction can lead the economic recovery in the Goulburn Valley, as well as the rest of country, and Master Builders Victoria will continue to work with local and state governments to ensure there is land to meet the demand.

“We also want to ensure this recent increase is sustainable and can lead the recovery our industry needs over the next 18 months.”

First-time home buyers can also take advantage of the Federal Government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, which allows those eligible to purchase or build a new home with a deposit of as little as 5 per cent, and its First Home Super Saver Scheme, which helps people boost their savings. HomeBuilder can also be complemented by existing state first homeowner grants, stamp duty concessions and other grant schemes.

Data released last week showed new home sales were one third higher in the three months to October 2020 compared to the same period last year.

In addition to HomeBuilder, Mr Drum said several measures contained in the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery Plan for Australia would have significant benefits for all tradespeople. This includes the $1.2 billion Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy that supports businesses to take on new apprentices and trainees, in the process building a pipeline of skilled workers to support sustained economic recovery.

“Whether it’s the housing and construction sector, or manufacturing, arts or mining – this new wage subsidy gives businesses certainty to hire and provides a career path to aspiring, young tradespeople,” Mr Drum said.

Find out more about HomeBuilder here.

Find out more about Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements here.


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