LOOKING AHEAD: New State government assistance welcomed by Southern Downs builders.
LOOKING AHEAD: New State government assistance welcomed by Southern Downs builders.

Struggling tradies welcome new assistance package

THERE’S a light at the end of the tunnel for the struggling regional construction industry as new grants are set to ramp up local building contracts.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced $267 million in building stimulus to support the sector yesterday after thousands of jobs became obsolete during the pandemic.

The package will include an extra $5000 on top of the $15,000 first homeowners grant for those purchasing in a regional location.

Let down by a previous federal grant for renovation and new builds, Freeman Quality Builders owner Brent Freeman said it was welcome news.

“It’ll definitely boost our economy and keep us working,” he said.

Mr Freeman said this package was much more tailored to the Southern Downs than the Home builder package, which required owners to front $150,000 for $25,000 toward home renovations.

“I don’t think people in Warwick have that sort of money to spend to only get $25,000,” he said.

“I think it’s good they’re starting to push these toward rural residents.”

Mr Freeman said he’s received several inquiries since packages were announced but blocks for new builds close to town were scarce.

“It’s hard to find a decent one for the right amount of money and people are pushing out more rural to try and find a bit of a lifestyle block,” he said.

With a small team, Mr Freeman is thankful he hasn’t had to put staff off but said it will take more than cheap blocks and schemes to attract outsiders to the Downs.

“There’s still got to be an incentive to move here, there’s not (many jobs) really around at the moment,” he said.

“But, this is all a step in the right direction and hopefully things will pick up.”



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