Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Five million bricks and counting

Joint Media Release with:

  • David Borger, NSW Minister for Housing

The Federal and NSW Housing Ministers today handed over the five millionth brick ordered as part of the state’s biggest ever social housing building project.

Tanya Plibersek and NSW Housing Minister David Borger said the five millionth brick represented a massive achievement under the first stage of the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan for social housing.

Since the start of the Stimulus Plan in February, enough bricks have been ordered to build Sydney’s ANZ Stadium1 five times over.

When the Commonwealth announced the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan, the NSW Government hit the ground running – 90 per cent of all stage one projects, some 858 homes, are under construction right now.

“The NSW Government is investing $1 billion to deliver an extra 3,000 homes on top of the Federal Government’s commitment to deliver 6,500 social housing homes in NSW,” Mr Borger said.

“That’s a total of 9,500 homes for those most in need and a once in a lifetime opportunity to secure jobs and investment in NSW.

“To date an estimated 940 jobs have been supported on over 101 social housing construction projects that form part of stage one of the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan, including around 94 jobs for apprentices.

“While NSW is responsible for 33 per cent of the housing stimulus program on the whole, at the end of July NSW was responsible for almost 60 per cent of all stimulus construction across Australia.”

Ms Plibersek said the social housing construction component of the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan was now well underway.

“Nearly 70 percent of the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan is infrastructure and when the stimulus package gets up to full steam, there will be around 35,000 individual construction projects around the country,” Ms Plibersek said.

“The social housing component of the Nation Building Economic Stimulus plan has been estimated by Treasury to support 15,000 jobs nationally over the next two years.

“This work is not just about jobs for builders and tradies, but also associated industries such as building manufacturers and suppliers who help keep the economy ticking over.”

“Our massive investment in the construction industry through the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan is delivering homes to people in need and creating employment at time when we are facing job cuts nation wide,” Member for Prospect, Chris Bowen said.

Member for Smithfield, Ninos Khoshaba, said almost $400,000 was being invested in Smithfield to upgrade 109 social housing homes as part of the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan.

The Managing Director of Gledhill Constructions, Derek Sidey, who ordered the five millionth brick in a batch of 135,000 bricks said he was able to employ 50 people including six apprentices on a $6.8 million Stimulus Plan project in Gladesville.

“The Stimulus Plan has come at the right time with the sudden downturn in work being experienced in the commercial and residential construction sector,” he said.

“With the commencement of this particular project and the knowledge that there are a number of similar NSW Housing tender opportunities imminent, we have the confidence to maintain our staff levels and employ additional apprentices.”

General Manager of Austral Bricks Mark Ellenor said he had seen an increase in demand for supplies since the stimulus plan kicked off in NSW.

“I really congratulate the State Government on their specification and design of full brick homes which provide these properties with excellent durability, an unsurpassed life cycle and low maintenance. They also have demonstrated superior levels of thermal comfort for energy efficiency and sustainability,” Mr Ellenor said.

  1. ANZ stadium contains 1,000,000 bricks. Source: ANZ Stadium Website