The South Australian government will not add any extra cash to grants available for home builders under the federal government’s new stimulus package but has flagged more support is on the way for the construction industry.
Treasurer Rob Lucas on Thursday welcomed the $25,000 grants from the commonwealth and said it meant first home buyers in SA would now be eligible for $40,000, thanks to SA’s existing grants scheme.
However, the $15,000 already on the table from the state government remains only for first home buyers who build.
“We won’t be adding to the grants or abolishing stamp duty, however in the next week or so, we will announce a package of further measures to help stimulate the housing and construction industry,” the treasurer said.
Mr Lucas said the extra cash from Canberra would help turbo-charge the nation’s critical building and construction sector and support thousands of local jobs, from carpenters, plumbers and bricklayers to electricians, architects and other suppliers.
It’s expected to provide for about 2000 new homes in SA.
“This is a huge shot in the arm for the local construction industry and the tens of thousands of tradies it employs in South Australia, as we recover from the greatest economic challenge of our time,” he said.
“We have been working closely with the federal government and we welcome their significant investment in local jobs.”
But the Labor opposition called on the state government to match the new grants to help the construction sector recover from the COVID-19 downturn.
“Housing construction work is about to fall off a cliff and the Liberal government cannot just rely on the commonwealth package,” Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas said.
“We must do everything we can to prevent carpenters, bricklayers, electricians and other tradies losing their jobs as work in the housing industry dries up.”