The Federal Government renovation grant has been flagged as unattainable in regional areas with fears people may overcapitalise on their homes.
The Federal Government renovation grant has been flagged as unattainable in regional areas with fears people may overcapitalise on their homes.

Plea for regional rethink on $25k renovation grant

The Federal Government renovation grant has been flagged as unattainable in regional Australia and should be reworked.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the HomeBuilder stimulus package, which is designed to encourage the country to spend on large-scale projects in the construction industry.

The package is part of the Federal Government's coronavirus response.

While the $25,000 grant toward building a home has garnered significant enthusiasm, renovators must spend $150,000 or more to qualify for the money.

Federal Herbert MP Phil Thompson said following significant criticism of the high price tag on renovations, he has spoken to Mr Morrison and Housing Minister Michael Sukkar about the issues with the grant in regional areas.

"It might be okay for Sydney and Melbourne where renovations cost this much, but for Townsville, this isn't the case," he said.

"I would like to see a tailored program for the regions."

Mr Thompson said what they didn't want was another pink batts debacle.

"They were trying to come up with a number where we are not going to see dodgy people coming out of the woodwork."

Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson. Picture: Alix Sweeney

The pink batts scheme was officially known as the Energy Efficient Homes Package, announced in 2009, which included an insulation program. It was subject to a royal commission after the deaths of four males aged 16 to 25 while installing insulation.

Mr Thompson said he had already scheduled a meeting with Mr Sukkar when federal parliament returns.

Townsville dad Lloyd Armstrong said the $150,000 renovators needed to front up would result in people overcapitalising on their homes in Townsville.

Mr Armstrong, whose aviation business was badly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, said there could be an opportunity to take the grant back to the drawing board and let people match dollar-for-dollar.

"Don't get me wrong, any assistance is fantastic, but there is an opportunity (here), like not only would it help the construction industry it would help a lot of businesses that were owned by mums and dads," he said.

Mr Armstrong said he would add solar, a new deck, an undercover area, kitchen cabinets and a shade sail if the grant was smaller, which would help a significant number of businesses.

Originally published as Plea for regional rethink on grant



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