Sir – We have listened to local tradies and small businesses and introduced an improved Home Improvement Scheme (HIS).
It will complement Government’s $22 million Immediate Works Stimulus Package which is currently being rolled out.
NT homeowners-occupiers are now eligible for one voucher of up to $2,000 (on a dollar-for-dollar co-contribution) to undertake improvements to their home.
Based on advice from tradies, businesses and Territorians who have accessed the scheme, key features of the bigger and better HIS are:
• Territorians who hve already received a $2,000 voucher can access it again.
• Territorians who have not previously accessed a $2000 voucher can now access a one-off $4000 voucher.
• Up to 50% of the voucher can be used towards the cost of goods and materials, which reflects the nature of home renovation.
• Subcontracting is now allowed under the scheme, meaning tradies can now get help from tradies with other skills, as long they’re also registered as part of the scheme.
• $15 million budget (additional to the $11 million already spent on the HIS).
As previously announced we have also fast-tracked $120 million worth of infrastructure spending which kicks in from the second half of this year and introduced a 30% buy local program.
Applications can be made until 31 December, 2017 (unless funding is exhausted).
Integrity measures (including site spot audits) will be undertaken to ensure compliance.
Businesses can register from Monday, February 6.
Homeowners applications commence from February 20.
Other key aspects of HIS are: works must be undertaken on homes older than six months, new homeowners that have received the $10,000 Home Renovations Grant will not be eligible, works must be completed within three months of receiving the voucher.
Opposition Leader Gary Higgins replies:
Sir – The Opposition applauds Labor’s decision to re-instate the popular and successful Home Improvement Scheme.
Why it took the Gunner Labor Government so long to make this decision is a question only they can answer, but it’s long-overdue and necessary.
Labor has wasted the last five months playing politics with the economy and hard working tradies. It shows they are unable to govern for the benefit of all Territorians on so many fronts.
The benefits expected to flow from their “Immediate Works Stimulus Package” are far from Immediate.
This decision acknowledges that the hundreds of people who signed the Country Liberals’ petition to re-instate the scheme and the many more who posted social media comments supporting the scheme were right all along.
I hope now the Gunner Labor Government also reverse some of their other short-sighted decisions including banning Dan Murphy’s and ditching the cyclotron from the PET scanner project.