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16 October 2018
REGIONAL BUILDING approval figures released recently by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, back our call to bring back the boost to the First Home Owners’ Grant.
Across the state, building approvals show solid and steady results, up by 1.4 per cent, with the fall in units continuing to flatten, down 2.2 per cent, and houses rising 3.7 per cent.
However, the charge is led by South East Queensland, up 2 per cent, with regional Queensland continuing to struggle, down 6.9 per cent.
It’s a trend that Master Builders’ Deputy CEO, Paul Bidwell says supports the need to bring back the $5,000 boost to regional Queensland.
“The boost to the First Home Owners’ Grant was critical in supporting demand for new housing, particularly in the regions,” Mr Bidwell said.
And builders across Queensland agree, with regional business describing the boost as “imperative” and losing it as a “catastrophe” that would cause a “severe halt in the industry”.
“The data doesn’t lie – during the two years it was offered, there was a 48 per cent increase in the number of grants, with a large number of these in regional areas,” Mr Bidwell said.
“Now, the brunt of the weak demand (reflected in building approvals for new dwellings) is being borne by regional Queensland, particularly in areas like North Queensland, Central Queensland and Wide Bay.
“While South East Queensland appears to be staging a comeback after a long period of falls, Cairns approvals are dropping again and places like Townsville, Rockhampton and the Wide Bay are struggling to attract residential work.
“The small spikes the regions were enjoying of late appears to be coming to an end. A regional boost to the First Home Owners’ Grant would be an investment in regional jobs and local businesses.
“A return of the boost would help more Queenslanders get into their first home as well as providing a much needed ‘shot in the arm’ for regional businesses, which have been doing it tough for a long time.”
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