Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan supporting construction jobs in Western Australia

Joint Media Release with:

  • Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
  • Troy Buswell MP, Western Australian Treasurer and Minister for Housing
  • Sharryn Jackson MP, Member for Hasluck

The Australian and Western Australian Governments today announced that construction is underway on the repairs and maintenance component of the Rudd Government’s Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan for an extra 20,000 social houses.

Tanya Plibersek, Western Australian Treasurer and Minister for Housing, Troy Buswell and Member for Hasluck, Sharryn Jackson today inspected a site in High Wycombe.

The Australian and Western Australian Governments have committed to deliver repairs and maintenance to 408 social housing dwellings across the state at a cost of $40.5 million.

“We needed to move quickly in order to provide a stimulus to the economy so we asked the Western Australian Government to provide us with a list of projects which could be fast-tracked with work to begin immediately,” Ms Plibersek said.

“These projects would have rolled out over time but the Rudd Government wanted to see these houses built now to support jobs in the building industry.”

Ms Plibersek said the Rudd Government’s $6.4 billion investment to build 20,000 social housing dwellings and provide repairs and maintenance to tens of thousands more across Australia will stimulate the building and construction industry and has been estimated by Treasury to support 15,000 jobs nationally over the next two years.

“Nearly 70 percent of the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan is infrastructure and these construction projects are now underway,” Ms Plibersek said.

“When the stimulus package gets up to full steam in about 12 months, there will be around 35,000 individual construction projects around the country.

“It’s not just about jobs for builders and tradies but also associated industries such as building manufacturers and suppliers who help keep the Australian economy ticking over.”

Mr Buswell said the Western Australian Government welcomed the Federal initiative as it would provide a boost for the state economy and benefit social housing tenants.

“The housing and construction sector plays a critical role in the State’s economy and with the Australian Government’s investment, we can support hundreds of jobs while improving the quality of our social housing,” Mr Buswell said.

“We provided the Federal Government with a list of projects across Western Australia that can commence immediately and I am very pleased work is underway.”

“We’ve given an undertaking that 75 per cent of this work will be completed by 31 December 2010.”

The repairs and maintenance undertaken at the High Wycombe property included a complete refurbishment to the kitchen and bathroom, floor tiling, roof work and internal and external painting.

Ms Jackson said housing and construction is a major employer in the Australian economy.

“The Rudd Government is taking practical steps through its Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan to cushion the impact of the global financial crisis by supporting jobs in the construction sector,” Ms Jackson said.

“These infrastructure projects show the Australian, state and territory and local governments working together in partnership.

“In addition, there is the important social benefit of providing more affordable housing to people who need it the most.”