Double for nothing: Grant still misses the mark for regional Queensland
19 November 2023
The Palaszczuk Government has announced that the First Home Owner Grant (the Grant) will be doubled from $15,000 to $30,000 effective Monday, 20 November 2023 to until 30 June 2025 in a move described by Hinchinbrook MP and Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Deputy Leader Nick Dametto, as ‘vote buying’.
KAP has lobbied extensively for the Grant to be broadened to allow the scheme to assist more people trying to buy their very first home. Inflation and sky rocketing construction costs have pushed the cost for a standard new build beyond the financial means of many Queensland first home buyers.
Under KAP’s proposed changes to the scheme, first home buyers would be able the use the Grant to help purchase, or make improvements to, an existing, detached home under $300,000, in rural and regional Queensland.
The Hinchinbrook MP said that while the State Government’s announcement sounded good, and if it’s on offer, we’ll take the money, but in reality it misses the mark to help those who need it most.
“Regardless of how much the Grant is, the problem most first home buyers are facing is access to affordable homes. This is something that can still be found in rural and regional Queensland, incentivising buyers to buy an established home in outside of metropolitan areas should be part of the housing solution,” he said.
“The average cost of a new house builds these days is over $470,000, and even higher in rural areas. On top of that you can add twelve year high interest rates, and pretty quickly you can see why it is becoming difficult for young people to envisage owning their first home.
“We need to find a way to get first home buyers excited about cheaper options. In rural and regional parts of Queensland there are ample properties sitting vacant that could be snapped up by first home owners at an affordable price.
“If the Government truly wanted to see more Queenslanders buying their first home, they would make it so that existing and affordable properties were included in the Grant.
“My KAP colleagues and I will continue to lobby for these changes on behalf of those living in rural and regional areas of Queensland that this Government has once again overlooked.”