Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Stimulus a boost for local businesses

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon David Borger MP, NSW Minister for Housing

The Australian and NSW Governments today outlined details of housing projects in the Hunter and Central Coast as part of the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan.

NSW Housing Minister David Borger said that around 1,400 people would be employed on nation building housing projects in these two important regions.

“The Australian Government is investing $2 billion as part of its Stimulus Plan to deliver more than 6,500 social housing homes in NSW and on top of that, the NSW Government is also investing $1 billion to deliver another 3,000 homes,” he said.

“In the Central Coast and Hunter regions, the Nation Building Social Housing program will see 1300 new homes built, worth around $366 million.

“These projects are anticipated to support around 1,400 full time equivalent direct and indirect jobs per annum over two years, boosting the local economy.

“At a time when we are facing a global recession and there are job cuts nation wide, this is a tangible example that our massive investment in the construction industry is paying off at a local level,” Mr Borger said.

Mr Borger made the announcement with Federal Member for Robertson, Belinda Neal and State Member for Gosford, Marie Andrews and while inspecting the construction of a $1.4 million social housing development being built by local builder, Baxter O’Hara Building at Everglades Crescent, Woy Woy.

Ms Neal said that this project which will house elderly residents, employ around 45 tradespeople and labourers, including two apprentices.

“Baxter O’Hara Building has also been awarded a project at Umina Beach, worth around $1.9 million which will employ around 30 tradespeople and labourers, including two apprentices,” Ms Neal said.

“This is a great example of what Stimulus is all about, generating local jobs for local people.”

“Baxter O’Hara Building has been able to employ additional key personnel staff including apprentices and trainees due to the additional work secured through the Stimulus Plan,” said Craig Baxter, Director of Baxter O’Hara Building.

“Being a Government accredited builder we have been able to assist in the fast tracking of the Stimulus Plan.

“The Stimulus Plan has assisted our company to continue in achieving our sustainable growth pattern and milestones,” said Mr Baxter.

Examples of redevelopment sites in the Gosford area include:

  • 235-239 Gertrude Street, Gosford worth over $1.9 million and once completed will feature 14 units with two of these easily adapted to suit a person with a disability or mobility difficulties.
  • 107-111 Hill Street, North Gosford worth over $2.5 million and once completed will feature 11 two-bedroom units.
  • 42-46 Maitland Road, Springfield worth $1.7 million and once completed will feature six units with one of these easily adapted to suit a person with a disability or mobility difficulties.

Ms Andrews said that in addition to construction works, maintenance and upgrading of more than 4,000 social housing properties in the Central Coast and Hunter regions are underway.

“Another important part of the Australian Government’s Stimulus Plan is for repairs and maintenance and to help reduce the backlog of maintenance and upgrading work in social housing,” Ms Andrews said.

“NSW has been allocated $130.4 million under the Plan for the maintenance of an extra 31,000 public housing properties, 4,000 in the Central Coast and Hunter regions alone.

“This work is worth $23 million and includes projects such as installing new bathrooms and kitchens, painting, new carpet, plumbing and re-wiring, providing even more job opportunities and supporting Australia’s product suppliers for the foreseeable future.”