Building business booming in Murraylands as Federal Treasurer visits

HOUSING and construction business is booming in the Murraylands the Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg heard when visited Murray Bridge on Friday, October 16.

Kookaburra Homes co-owner Steve Walker told the Federal Treasurer and Member for Barker Tony Pasin the business - which employees over 40 staff - had seen an 80 per cent increase in sales since the announcement of Federal Government's HomeBuilder grants earlier this year.

The HomeBuilder scheme is open to those buying a new home or undertaking a significant renovation to apply for a $25,000 grant.

And, first new home buyers in South Australia are eligible for up to $40,000 in grants towards a new home build, when including the $15,000 State Government incentive.

Mr Walker said the grants had allowed business to swell in uncertain times.

"When COVID ... was first announced we were quite concern about the business and where we would go as a business and thanks to the government, state and federal, for moving swiftly and implementing HomeBuilder we were able to see an increase in sales," he said.

"We were already a profitable business but it allowed us to build our business not just then but into the future as well, not just for the 40 people who work here, but for the hundreds of contractors who work locally for us."

Following a tour of the site, Mr Frydenberg paid tribute to the Murray Bridge business.

"It's been fantastic to hear the stories about how HomeBuilder has had such a positive and significant impact on this business," he said.

"We met some of the young apprentices employed here in Murray Bridge as they are working on cabinets as they are going out the door along with new homes that are being build right across this great state."

Earlier this week, the State Government reported more than 1100 applications for the $25,000 HomeBuilder Grant had been received.

State Treasurer Rob Lucas said the program was "going gangbusters, with a huge groundswell of interest in the grants from South Australians wanting to build a new home, or renovate an existing property."

To be eligible for the grants contracts must be signed between June 4 and December 31 and construction must commence within three months of the contract date.

However, Mr Lucas in seeking an extension of three months to the construction commencement requirement for all HomeBuilder applicants in SA.

Mr Frydenberg said the government would continue to to reassess the scheme.

"It has been an enormous success and it's doing exactly what we want it do it, it's igniting the construction industry so we will continue to reassess that program and the timelines."