On the back of a predicted 3% growth in the Queensland economy over 2017-18 which but for the impacts of cyclone Debbie was predicted to be higher the Queensland Government has delivered a budget which it claims will be good for jobs and good for builders.
Undoubtedly amongst the budget measures announced are a number of projects in regional Queensland which should act as a stimulus for further activity.
- $176 million to expand the Cairns Convention Centre
- $70 million contribution to the construction of the Mackay Ring Road
- $200 million towards works to support the proposed hydro-electric power station on the Burdekin Dam
- $200 million expansion of the Capricorn Correctional Centre
- $225 million to support water security in Townsville
Additionally there are a range of measures that more directly impact the residential construction sector.
- Employees who hire apprentices and trainees will receive a payroll tax rebate of 50 percent on their wages in addition to their wages being exempt from payroll tax until 30 June 2018. The rebate canl be used as an offset against the payroll tax payable on the wages of other employees.
- Continuation of the Back to Work program with expansion into South East Queensland. The Back to Work program makes available payments up to $15,000 for eligible employers if they hire a job seeker who has been unemployed for 52 weeks or more or $20,000 for a job seeker aged between 15-24 year who has been unemployed for four weeks or more.
- $130 million over three years allocated to the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund aimed at facilitating private sector projects to create economic growth opportunities in areas of regional Queensland with higher than average unemployment. The fund will provide a one off payment ranging from $100,000 to $10 million.
- Extension of the $20,000 first home owners grant for 6 months until 31 December 2017 for buying or building new houses, units or townhouses valued under $750,000.
- $1.8 billion over 10 years to deliver on the Qld Housing Strategy aimed at boosting the supply of social and affordable housing.
- 10 million allocated over two years to support a land monitoring program and to undertake a strategic assessment of the State’s environmental offsets framework for growth areas in South East Queensland.
- Introduction of a 1.5 percent land tax surcharge on absentee land owners if the value of the land is more than $350,000.
- Increased funding over four years to support a capital program to upgrade existing and to build new Government Employee Housing stock.
- $550 million allocated to the construction of new schools and expansion of existing schools including upgrading existing halls.
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