FUTURE: Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey.
FUTURE: Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey. TAHLIA STEHBENS

Mayor writes to PM calling for support for building industry

BUNDABERG Mayor Jack Dempsey has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison seeking Federal support to help the region's struggling construction industry.

Cr Dempsey sent the letter this week to the PM's office, as a well as a number of other key players.

Last week the Housing Industry Association and Urban Development Institute of Australia put forward a plan to help raise the declining number of new home approvals, seeking a $10,000 national incentive per constructed dwelling in Bundaberg.

A similar scheme was used at the Fraser Coast region last year which showed its council accepted 160 applications.

When the grant closed in February, Fraser Coast Mayor Chris Loft said it was a popular program, and it helped 100 families realise the great Australian dream of owning their own home.

In Cr Dempsey's letter to the Prime Minister, he drew his attention to indicators that showed in 2017-18, building approvals in Bundy hit a low of 359, from a high of 1172 a decade earlier.

He said while there were a range of factors contributing to this dramatic drop, clearly they were of concern to the council, as well as those peak bodies.

"I join the Housing Industry Association (HIA) Ltd and Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) in bringing to your attention a disappointing set of indicators regarding local housing approvals over the last decade,” Cr Demsey wrote.

"I join the HIA and UDIA in seeking your advocacy for the establishment of a $6 million per annum Australian Federal Government fund to stimulate building activity and the broader economy.

The PM's office yesterday referred NewsMail questions about the $10,000 grant to the Treasurer's office.

"Funding for affordable housing and homelessness services is part of our plan for a stronger economy and to keep Australians safe and together,” Mr Frydenburg said.

"We are investing significantly into Queensland, delivering $1.6 billion over five years from 2018 under the new National Housing and Homelessness Agreement.

"This agreement secures future funding for housing ...”

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