Housing stimulus and infrastructure spend State Budget highlights

Low income earners, builders, subcontractors, tradies and apprentices will all benefit from the Marshall Government’s $104.5 million Housing Stimulus Package, Master Builders SA says.

“You can’t have a strong economy without a strong building and construction industry,” said Master Builders SA CEO Ian Markos.

“We are pleased the Marshall Government answered our call for urgent assistance for the housing sector, which has been rocked by eight insolvencies since November.

“The $42.5 million allocated to the maintenance, upgrade and construction program for the South Australian Housing Authority’s stock will help many of our members through the industry slowdown.

“However, the current eligibility criteria for the Affordable Housing Fund is extremely tight. Master Builders SA would like to see an increase in the $60,000 cap so more hard-working South Australians can realise their dream of home ownership.

“This Budget was framed in a challenging environment with the $2 billion plus write-down in GST revenue over the forward estimates. There is a substantial increase in debt, but the Marshall Government has focused on investing in productive infrastructure.

“With Australia’s economy slowing – recently recording its worst 12 months period of growth since 2009 – now is the time to invest in hospitals, schools, roads and other transport infrastructure. Master Builders SA wants to see the projects announced in today’s Budget up and running and completed as soon as possible.

“We are disappointed with the Marshall Government’s decision to slug hard-working builders and tradies – the backbone of our economy – with licensing and registration fee increases more than seven times the rate of inflation. Our members work their guts out and these increases will make it harder for them to grow their business and employ more workers and apprentices.

“The size of the public sector is still out of control, including a ridiculous 1300 plus executives. There was plenty of scope to cull government fat cats instead of going after the builders, plumbers, gas fitters and electricians that provide quality services and make a vital contribution to South Australia’s economy.

“The substantial increase in the Solid Waste Levy will also hit many of our members and threaten housing affordability.”