Thursday, 18 June 2020
HomeBuilder, Fisher Electorate: Ready, Set, Go! Program
Mr Deputy Speaker, as you know, before I came into this place I used to be a barrister and, prior to that, I used to be a builder. I worked closely with the Assistant Treasurer to develop the HomeBuilder program. What many of my colleagues were telling me in the building industry was that work was going to absolutely fall off the cliff for them around August or September. Some of them are telling me they have 50 jobs on the go now, but, come September, they will have zero. I'm very proud to say that this government stepped in and provided a demand-driven program to assist builders, electricians, carpenters, bricklayers—you name it—anybody working in the building industry.
It's a $680 million demand-driven program that will not only help builders stay in business during this COVID recovery period but help people get into their dream home, particularly young people who have been running the rent race for, perhaps, many years. It's very exciting, not just for builders but for home owners as well. As we know, it's a $25,000 grant. The interest from the community has been absolutely breathtaking: 355,210 people have visited the HomeBuilder website and 27,258 have registered their interest in this program. As John McNamara from SMS finance indicated to me, he's been in the finance sector for 30 years and he has never been as busy since HomeBuilder was announced. To give you another idea of the impacts of this HomeBuilder package, a housing estate on the Sunshine Coast was sold out in one day after HomeBuilder was announced. For the sceptics on the other side, this is something that the industry has been screaming out for, and we have delivered.
I also want to talk about Tom Loane. Last night, I rang him. He's a 16-year-old and he's the inaugural winner of the Fisher Ready, Set, Go! program. I provide $1,000 three times a year to young kids who are looking to get an apprenticeship or a traineeship. With that $1,000, Tom's going to buy some tools. He wants to be an electrician. More power to Tom! Well done, Tom! He's going to use that money for tools and also for some driving lessons to help get that apprenticeship next year. More power to you, Tom!