Waste levy increase to hit first home buyers hard

20 November 2018

THE QUEENSLAND Government’s waste levy announcement is another cost for building and will directly impact new home builders in regional Queensland.

Master Builders’ Deputy CEO, Paul Bidwell, said that while Master Builders welcomes the news to delay the introduction of the levy until 1 July 2019, the additional cost will be felt, particularly in regional areas where recycling opportunities are simply not available.

“The levy will be introduced at $75 per tonne, which is higher than originally planned, meaning the average new home build or renovation will cost $1,500 more from 1 July 2019,” Mr Bidwell said.

“Add to that cost the loss of the $5,000 First Home Owners’ Boost and first home buyers will be $6,500 worse off next year.”

With limited opportunities for builders in regional Queensland to increase recycling on building sites, Mr Bidwell says builders will be forced to pass the cost on.

“There is no doubt the levy will impact new home building. The average new home build or major renovation site generates up to 20 tonnes of waste, meaning the levy will add up to $1,500 to the cost of this disposal.

“Builders, big and small, have actively improved their estimating and design practices to minimise wasting materials. However, with many builders simply not having access to the waste recycling facilities that will allow them to decrease the volume going to landfill, the cost of disposing of construction waste will increase significantly.

“Currently, the majority of waste generated by residential builders and smaller commercial builders (and all builders in regional and rural areas) goes direct to landfill due to the lack of options for waste recycling, and this will not change once the levy is enacted.

“While the ship has sailed on the waste levy, there is still the opportunity for the Treasurer and Queensland Government to consider bringing back the $5,000 First Home Owners’ Boost to regional Queensland and minimise the impact.

“With many regional businesses and first home buyers already feeling its loss, there is an opportunity here to lend a helping hand to regional Queensland.

“Building new homes builds communities, creates jobs and delivers economic growth where it’s needed most. While the Boost won’t create a boom, it will give the building and construction industry the shot in the arm and helping hand it needs and some extra help for new home buyers that can often mean the difference between affording a new home or not.

“Re-introducing the Boost would cost government in the ballpark of $13 million per year, but would generate more than 2,000 jobs in the regions.”


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Julie Russell, Manager Communications & Media via email at julie.russell@mbqld.com.au or on 3225 6436
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