House debates

Monday, 26 October 2020

Statements by Members

Barker Electorate: Economy

4:27 pm

Photo of Tony PasinTony Pasin (Barker, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

On the Friday before last, I welcomed to the electorate of Barker Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to see firsthand the incredible impact the HomeBuilder program is having on the residential construction sector. We were lucky enough to visit a fantastic local business, Kookaburra Homes. Steve Walker, the managing director of Kookaburra Homes, gave us a tour of their workshop. They employ 29 people at Murray Bridge alone, 50 per cent of whom are female. Over the last three years the company has grown exponentially—by 400 per cent. But when the global pandemic struck, they were obviously uncertain about the future viability of their business and their industry. Steve advised us on the visit that the HomeBuilder program and the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme were, in his view, the most successful construction stimulus packages ever presented by our national government. With $22 million of sales in the previous 12 months, they've been matched in a quarter of sales for Kookaburra in the middle of a pandemic. To meet this demand, Kookaburra Homes is now looking to utilise the measures in the JobMaker scheme, including the apprentice wage subsidy program. This is an incredible business that prioritises using local suppliers and local products to share the economic benefits with the broader Murray Bridge community. Once again, I want to take this opportunity to thank the Treasurer for visiting Barker and, of course, for the work he's done over the last seven months saving livelihoods.