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Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Maintenance millions for local jobs and homes in Southern NSW

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon David Borger MP, NSW Minister for Housing
  • The Hon Mike Kelly MP, Member for Eden-Monaro

Over $1.4 million is being invested in the NSW areas of Bega, Eden and Monaro to upgrade 398 social housing homes as part of the Federal Government’s Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan.

The announcement was made today in Bega by Federal Housing Minister, Tanya Plibersek, NSW Housing Minister, David Borger, and Federal Member for Eden-Monaro, Mike Kelly.

The breakdown of the investment for the area includes:

  • Bega – $658,805 to upgrade 184 homes
  • Monaro – $766,696 to upgrade 214 homes;

“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. Housing and construction is a major employer in the Australian economy,” Ms Plibersek said.

“That’s why housing has featured so strongly in the Rudd Government’s Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan – firstly through the First Home Owners Boost and then by the announcement to build 20,000 social housing dwellings.

“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.

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

Mr Borger said that in August last year, the NSW Government launched the single biggest residential maintenance contract in the Southern Hemisphere – helping to save millions of taxpayer dollars by adopting smarter ways of doing things.

“The new system encourages more proactive maintenance and improves the way tenants can report any repairs that are needed and because we have completed an audit of all the maintenance required in NSW we have been able to immediately kick start this new program.”

“The Premier brought forward a record $200 million late last year to further stimulate the economy. Housing NSW will also continue to spend around $140 million to further reduce the maintenance backlog,” Mr Borger said.

“This money will employ 50 social housing residents over a two year period, help maintenance contractors take on 250 apprentices, and improve the living conditions of social housing residents across the state.

“We are ramping up maintenance – this will see us upgrade an enormous number of homes over the next two years.”

Mr Kelly said the Rudd Government is investing $130.4 million in NSW on social housing maintenance as part of a $6.4 billion investment to build 20,000 social housing dwellings and provide repairs and maintenance to almost 50,000 others – right across Australia.

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

“This significant investment will ensure electricians, plumbers, painters, carpet layers and others will have more work – it will keep people in jobs in these difficult times. It’s also a great boost for tenants living in social housing homes in this part of NSW. ”

Local Member for Monaro Steve Whan MP said the NSW Government had hit the ground running to take advantage of the unprecedented opportunity.

“This investment is a great boost for local jobs and for tenants living in social housing homes in Monaro. The NSW Government is committed to ensuring we pull out all stops to meet the Prime Minister’s deadline,” Mr Whan said.

“The Commonwealth and NSW Government will invest three billion dollars over the next three years.

“This investment will deliver an extra 37,000 jobs and apprenticeships across NSW and build about 9000 additional social housing homes,” Mr Whan said.

“It is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will not only better integrate social housing across the community it will help secure jobs and investment in NSW.”