House debates

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Questions without Notice


2:56 pm

Photo of Nicolle FlintNicolle Flint (Boothby, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Housing. Will the minister please update the House on how the Morrison government's HomeBuilder grant is helping Australians build a home of their own while at the same time supporting construction jobs through to 2022 and helping drive our economy's comeback from the COVID-19 recession?

Photo of Michael SukkarMichael Sukkar (Deakin, Liberal Party, Assistant Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Boothby for her question. She knows that the coalition is unequivocally and unquestionably a government that supports the residential construction industry. Of course, we are the parties of homeownership, and we support first home buyers and we support people through the HomeBuilder grant to get into a new home.

HomeBuilder has been an enormous success. It's ignited the residential construction industry and it's been a key part of our comeback from the COVID-19 recession. That comeback was highlighted again today through the latest ABS data on building approvals. Today the ABS data on building approvals showed that approvals aren't just at their highest level since the pandemic commenced; they are at their highest level for 20 years. For those of us on this side of the House that have supported the HomeBuilder program and supported the residential construction industry, not in our wildest dreams did we think the industry would be elevated to those heights. But that is exactly what HomeBuilder has done.

There are few places around the country that have been more successful than South Australia, the home state of the member for Boothby, which has seen a rise in building approvals of 25 per cent in September and October combined. What does this all mean? It means new jobs; new homes and new construction mean new jobs. In South Australia alone, the HIA and, importantly, the ABS have said that 2,700 jobs have been created as a result of the HomeBuilder program. The HomeBuilder program was there to support the existing up to one million jobs in the industry, and now we're seeing jobs actually increasing in many parts of the country.

I hope the member for Boothby gets an opportunity to meet a couple of new constituents of hers, Erin and Matt, who were quoted in Adelaide's The Advertiser as saying that the HomeBuilder grant tipped the balance for them to buy a new home. That's what HomeBuilder did. Yes, HomeBuilder's there to support the million people who work in the industry. But for Erin and Matt it means a new home. The Labor Party has been out there criticising HomeBuilder for the last six months. There are tens of thousands of people like Erin and Matt who are now in their first home, and we've also got up to a million Australians who have had their jobs supported by the HomeBuilder program. That's why we've extended it through to 31 March. It's a key part of the economic comeback. The coalition is here for first home buyers and the residential construction industry.