KATTER’S Australian Party (KAP) Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto has reiterated his calls to expand the First Home Owners Grant following reports that housing has been identified as the biggest infrastructure problem across regional Australia.
Under Mr Dametto’s proposed amendments to the Act, first home owners would be able the use the current $15,000 First Home Owners’ Grant to purchase an existing, detached home under $300,000 in rural and regional Queensland.
The same $15,000 grant would also be available for improvements when purchasing an existing, detached first home under $300,000 in rural and regional Queensland.
Infrastructure Australia has stated the top five challenges in regions include housing, water, security, telecommunications, further education and training and public transport.
A total of 43,000 Australians moved to regional areas from capital cities in 2020, compared with 18,900 in 2019.
“This population shift is increasing pressure for regional areas, in the Hinchinbrook electorate, we have noticed that the lack of rentals is a huge problem,” Mr Dametto said.
“And now with Infrastructure Australia stating that housing is the number one issue for regional Australia, it’s time for the State Labor Government to invest in solving the crisis and getting rural and regional Queensland off the rental roll and into home ownership.
“The KAP has been calling for the First Home Owners Grant to be expanded for quite some time; we believe it will give first home owners an opportunity to get off the rental merry-go-round.
“The FHOG amendments would allow home owners to purchase an existing home and use the grant for renovations.
“For example, in Ingham, there is a surplus of existing homes that need a little bit of TLC to become someone’s dream home.
“To add to this, COVID-19 has caused a shortage of workers and resources in the construction industry.
“Regional Queenslanders are having to wait years to get a house built – we believe this is just another reason why the First Home Owners Grant should be expanded to include existing homes.”