- McGowan Government unveils new COVID-19 Industry Support Fund
- Support and stimulus measures to be directed to where they are needed the most
- New fund includes a $30 million boost to the highly successful Building Bonus program
- $20,000 grant very popular with home builders, with 283 applications already received
- Disconnection moratorium for residential water and electricity customers extended to June 30, 2021 to provide all Western Australians with certainty
The McGowan Government has established the new COVID-19 Industry Support Fund to deliver further relief to Western Australians and continue to stimulate the State's economy.
The first initiative included in the fund is an additional $30 million boost to the Building Bonus program to meet the higher than expected demand for the successful COVID-19 stimulus measure.
Western Australia's hard border and strong response to the COVID-19 pandemic means the State's economy is recovering better than expected, and demand for some of the relief programs announced by the McGowan Government is lower than was anticipated at the height of the pandemic.
As a result, funding from some relief measures has been repurposed into a special COVID-19 Industry Support Fund to provide additional support and stimulus in areas it is most needed.
The McGowan Government will continue to monitor its relief measures and those that are no longer required will continue to be repurposed into the COVID-19 Industry Support Fund.
The $30 million of additional funding for the Building Bonus announced today takes the total investment in the program to $147 million.
The Building Bonus program was part of the McGowan Government's $2.7 billion investment in immediate COVID-19 stimulus and relief measures, part of the $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan.
Grants of $20,000 are available to any homebuyer who wishes to build a new house or purchase a new property in a single-tier development (such as a townhouse) prior to completion of construction.
Demand for the grants has been high, with 283 Building Bonus applications submitted, 96 applications approved and $1.92 million in grants paid out to date. These numbers will continue to increase as more Western Australians commence construction on their new homes, making them eligible for the grants.
Following the introduction of the grants, land sales increased significantly, peaking at around 500 sales per week in late June. This is up from the historical average of around 60 per week.
The additional $30 million will go towards an increase in demand for the Building Bonus after the McGowan Government expanded the conditional criteria in July.
The McGowan Government today also announced an extension of the disconnection moratorium for residential water and electricity customers from September 30, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"Western Australia has led the nation in our response to COVID-19.
"Thanks to the efforts of all Western Australians, along with our hard border, we've been able to open up our economy more than any other State and we are now seeing strong signs that WA is recovering faster than expected.
"We are not out of the woods yet, and we acknowledge that some sections of the community are still doing it tough, but there is no doubt that Western Australia is in a position to recover stronger than ever.
"The new COVID-19 Industry Support Fund will ensure that funds are provided to those areas that are most in need, and we can continue to stimulate the economy and create ongoing jobs for Western Australians."
Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt:
"The McGowan Government is committed to its investment in COVID stimulus and relief measures.
"In the early days of this pandemic, Treasury forecasts were predicting a far worse impact on the economy than has been experienced.
"For measures which have not had the uptake originally anticipated, we are repurposing the money through the COVID-19 Industry Support Fund to provide further stimulus and relief where it is needed most.
"By monitoring sectors of our economy over the coming months we will be able to provide further targeted relief and stimulus for those that need it most."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Treasurer's office - 6552 5900