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Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Social Housing Upgrades Supporting Jobs in Hobart

Joint Media Release with:

  • Lin Thorp MLC, Minister for Human Services
  • Duncan Kerr MP, Member for Denison

Tanya Plibersek and Tasmanian Minister for Human Services, Lin Thorp and Member for Denison, Duncan Kerr today inspected progress on units that are being upgraded under the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan.

The New Town upgrade is part of the Australian Government’s $9.3 million investment to repair over 500 homes across Tasmania as part of the billion social housing initiative.

Ms Plibersek said: “The Government has invested $400 million in a social housing repairs and maintenance program to upgrade more than 60,000 homes across Australia.

“More than 10,000 of these homes would have been lost to stock if it were not for this new investment.

“This program is also stimulating the building and construction industry at a time of global recession.

“It’s not just about jobs for builders, tradespeople and their apprentices but also associated industries such as manufacturers and suppliers who help keep the Australian economy ticking over,” Ms Plibersek said.

Ms Thorp said the 62 unit complex in Bedford St, New Town, one of the State’s largest, was in desperate need of repair with a number of properties fast becoming unfit for occupation.

She said more than $3 million has been provided under the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan to upgrade all the units.

“The major renovations currently under way will see each of these units brought back to contemporary social housing standards,” Ms Thorp said.

“The renovations include new kitchens, bathrooms, laundries, floors coverings and internal and external painting.

“One unit will be retained to create a new common room to encourage a greater sense of community amongst residents.”

Housing Tasmania engaged Spotless to undertake the upgrading work.

Ms Thorp said the first stage contains a total of 12 units including the laundry and common meeting room and has already been completed. Work has now commenced on the remaining units.

“Spotless, the contractor overseeing the Bedford St renovation are currently employing 48 trades people and 10 apprentices on projects funded under the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan,” she said.

“A number of these workers have been provided by sub-contractors who have been engaged in order to help the business meet the increased demand.

“This is an excellent example of the State and Federal government working together to create outcomes which are positive and enhance degraded housing stock in areas where housing demand is high.”

Federal Member for Denison, Duncan Kerr said: “I’m pleased that the Australian Government is investing nearly $2 million in my electorate to provide vital repairs and maintenance to 36 homes.

“It’s great to see so many local jobs being protected during these tough global economic times.

“As well as stimulating the local economy, this project is a terrific boost to affordable housing stock in an area where it is greatly needed,” Mr Kerr said.