How Bundy homeowners can get their hands on $11k
A PROGRAM worth more than $20 million and funding up to 75 per cent of the cost of getting your house cyclone-ready has been welcomed by local manufacturers and construction workers as round two of the Household Resilience Program kicks off.
Queensland's Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni met this morning with staff from local businesses Metroll and Elite Roofing Qld to see what the funding meant for businesses and the community.
The $21.5m fund, $11.25m from the Queensland Government and $10m from the Federal Government, will provide up to $11,250 towards the cost of improvements for households built before 1984 and within 50km of the coastline from Bundaberg to the Queensland/Northern Territory border.
For Metroll's Wayne Martin, the funds, along with others recently announced, meant there was a chance some people could get on with projects they might have had on the backburner, as well as simultaneously getting ready in advance of storm season.
"The legislations change with how roofs are tied down. The products are very different these days compared to what was used pre-1984," he said.
"Certifiers have got involved and said for roofs to withstand cyclones they need to be of a certain standard and that's where this comes in."
And for the people that put roofs on houses, the importance of being cyclone-resilient is something that couldn't be overstated, as Elite Roofing's Steven Hammond explained.
"We actually went up to Bowen and Airlie Beach about two years ago to replace some roofs up there after the cyclone and every second roof was blown off," he said.
He explained that many pre-1984 houses had roofs simply nailed on, not tied down, which meant they had the potential to tear free of the rest of the house in extreme storms.
Mr Hammond said without the funding, a lot of people would not have been in the position to get their roofs cyclone ready, but the grants of up to $11,250 on a $15,000 project opened up that opportunity for households getting by on more moderate incomes.
To be eligible for the grant, households must make a minimum contribution of 25 per cent on a project valued at $3300 or more and have a weekly income of less than:
• $1,006 for an individual ($52,324 per year)
• $1,391 for a couple ($72,341 per year)
• $1,392 for a sole parent with one child ($72,391 per year)
• $1,724 for a couple with one child ($89,698 per year)
Demand for the upgrades in Bundaberg - with 87 applications so far - meant Elite Roofing has begun hiring more staff to meet the demand, something Mr Hammond didn't expect to be able to do in the midst of a global pandemic and economic slump.
"I'm expecting about three or four months more work, which gives us time to pick up our normal work as well," he said.
One of Elite Roofing's employees able to shift from casual to full-time work was Peter Jones.
"It's really good to see the reaction - especially on the older people's faces - after they know they're safe and sound after we've upgraded their roof," Mr Jones said.
"They've never had that opportunity before without the government program - it just makes us feel good too when we leave that they're nice and happy and they're safe."
Mr de Brenni said Metroll and Elite Roofing were key supply chain members for the Household Resilience Program in Bundaberg and that the program was part of the State Government's $6 billion economic recovery plan and stressed it was not too late to make an application for funding.
"If you need a new roof, new guttering, a garage door, you want to replace your windows or doors, you can apply for a $15,000 project with 75 per cent of funding delivered by the Household Resilience Program as part of our economic recovery strategy," Mr de Brenni said.
"That's incredibly important here in the Wide Bay and going further north into North Queensland - there's been 10 cyclones in the last 50 years that have come within cooee of Bundaberg.
"But more importantly we know that in places like Gin Gin where it hails quite regularly - Steve and Pete are doing regular roof replacements - that people want to feel safe and secure in their home."
He said as a result of the upgrades, the average insurance saving per year was about $310 for each household.
"We've got more jobs, we've got safer homes, we've got a strong supply chain, got economic recovery happening and we've got household insurance savings," he said.
"It's a win-win-win this program and we're very proud to be delivering it here in partnership with these local businesses."