House debates

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Questions without Notice

COVID-19: HomeBuilder

2:39 pm

Photo of Lucy WicksLucy Wicks (Robertson, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the . Will the minister please update the House on how the Morrison government's HomeBuilder plan is supporting new jobs in the housing construction sector and helping to drive our economic 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 Robertson for her question. She is unquestionably a champion for all the workers in the residential construction industry in her electorate and, like everybody in the Morrison government, a champion for first home buyers. I'm happy to report to the member for Robertson that, yes, the HomeBuilder program has been extraordinarily successful in supporting the one million jobs in the residential construction industry. PowerHousing Australia and CoreLogic have provided some interesting statistics that show that, for every new home that's built in this country, 43 trades are supported. Whether that's the bricklayers, whether that's the plumbers, whether that's the carpenters, and it extends all the way to the timber mill workers who make the frames and the trusses and the manufacturing workers who make the bricks and the tiles and the glass, they are Australian jobs.

The HomeBuilder program has had over 32,000 applications to date. What that means, as the ABS has shown with building approvals data, is that the HomeBuilder program has not just ensured that the residential construction industry got back to pre-pandemic levels, which was really its objective, it is now ensuring that new home sales are at a 20-year high. What do those new home sales mean? It means supporting those million jobs. In addition to that, with the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme working in conjunction with HomeBuilder, we have seen first home buyers at a 10-year high. In the middle of a pandemic, first home buyers are now at a 10-year high.

The Morrison government is a government for first home buyers, there's no doubt. Sadly, the opposition has abandoned first home buyers, abandoned those in the residential construction industry, doesn't support the HomeBuilder program, didn't originally support the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme—so there are, literally, tens of thousands of first home buyers in this country, right now, that know they have been able to get a foot into the market with the support of the Morrison government. And, of course, the HomeBuilder program is fuelling our comeback. It is fuelling a tradie-led recovery in the economy, up to a million employees in the industry. It is five per cent of our GDP, $100 billion.

No-one should underestimate how important the residential construction industry is, which is why it's so disappointing that those opposite are so callous that they don't support the HomeBuilder program. They don't support this highly successful program. As the CEO of the Property Council recently said when we extended HomeBuilder, 'The government's decision to extend this successful program will keep hundreds of thousands of people in jobs.' That is what the Morrison government is doing, and we will continue to do it throughout our comeback. (Time expired)