New measures to protect home owners 

New measures to protect home owners and support building and construction industry

Thursday, 12 May 2022

  • Package of initiatives to assist consumers and the building and construction industry
  • Premier to urge action from Federal Government and major banks to stabilise industry through global uncertainty
  • $30 million allocated to relief scheme for head contractors on government projects impacted by unforeseen supply chain impacts

The McGowan Government has announced a series of measures to protect local home builders and home owners, help stabilise the building and construction industry, and attract skilled workers to Western Australia.

The building and construction sector, which has played a significant role in keeping WA’s economy strong through the pandemic, is experiencing major impacts from global supply chain disruptions.

In many cases, global supply shortages have led to increasing costs and delays to projects in WA, impacting a range of developments from residential through to major infrastructure.

Record employment levels in WA have also resulted in workforce and skills pressures.

Initiatives to provide stability and support to the building and construction industry include:

  • a $30 million financial relief scheme to assist head contractors with rising costs on Department of Finance and Department of Communities projects which face unforeseen supply chain impacts;
  • the Premier will urge major banks for a flexible approach to progress payments and cash flow support for WA builders;
  • rise and fall provisions to be included in future government contracts, where appropriate, to reduce risk for tendering builders;
  • revising timeframes on a range of government projects to better account for current market conditions;
  • creation of a new Department of Communities prequalification panel to include small and medium-sized builders to pre-qualify to price for future projects; and
  • support for an additional (fifth) progress payment on Keystart builds to provide cash flow support to Keystart builders, with the Keystart Board to make the final decision.

To attract skilled workers over the medium to longer term, as well as deliver WA’s record-breaking pipeline of building and construction work, the McGowan Government will:

  • request a newly elected Federal Government to include building and construction trades on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List; and
  • fund a targeted $1.5 million overseas marketing campaign to attract building and construction workers from overseas, including the United Kingdom and Ireland.

On July 5, 2021, the Western Australian Skilled Migration Occupation List under the State Nomination Migration Program was expanded to include 28 building and construction occupations, including trade occupations where training can only be undertaken via an apprenticeship.

There will be additional support for WA home owners impacted by building and construction industry disruptions, including:

  • extending the timeframe for Building Bonus grant applicants to commence construction (substantial earthworks) from 18 months to 30 months from signing a contract, with foundations to be laid by April 30, 2024; and
  • delivery of an education campaign for consumers affected by building delays through the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety Building and Energy.

The package will also assist in the delivery of the McGowan Government’s record $33.9 billion pipeline of infrastructure works throughout WA.

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Comments attributed to Premier and Treasurer Mark McGowan:

“Despite COVID-19 now being well-established in our community, our local economy continues to thrive, with strong growth in both private and public investment.

“Both private and public construction projects are being impacted by global supply pressures putting upward pressure on input costs and tight labour market conditions, with the unemployment rate at the lowest level in years.

“We have already been working to attract interstate workers through the Build a Life in WA campaign and overseas skilled workers through the Reconnect WA package.

“These new initiatives add to this work and provide further support to local home builders and home owners during this period.”

Comments attributed to Commerce Minister Roger Cook:

“We recognise the building industry and consumers have been affected by a variety of issues, including disrupted supply chains, labour shortages and material costs.

“These Budget measures are aimed at providing support in areas that are within the Government’s control.

“We are also acting to ensure small and medium-sized builders will be able to improve their cash flow with a potential pipeline of work on government projects.

“I also acknowledge there are subcontractors who experience the adverse impacts of insecure work across the industry. Job security, safety culture and delivering quality work ought to be fundamental objectives for contractors, as we build back better.”

Comments attributed to Finance Minister Dr Tony Buti:

“Western Australia’s economy has been a shining light through the pandemic and this package will help us address the next phase of challenges that have rippled across the globe.

“Customers and industry in the building and construction sector have faced uncertainty over these global issues, and we’re doing what we can to alleviate some pressure.

“For home builders, we’re enabling a further 12 months for construction to start on new builds for the $20,000 payment. This will assist up to around 2,500 outstanding applicants who may be impacted by building delays.”

Comments attributed to Housing Minister John Carey:

“Our Government understands the challenges of the current construction market, and this package is about supporting industry and getting key infrastructure delivered.

“The package includes reforms to our delivery of social housing with the development of a new State-wide Department of Communities panel for new builds and refurbishments, which will support small and medium-sized builders through simplified expression of interest and procurement processes.

“Right throughout the pandemic, our Government has placed a high priority on supporting the construction industry, and this package highlights our continued commitment to the sector and delivery of our State’s major infrastructure.”

Premier and Treasurer’s office – 6552 5000

Commerce Minister’s office – 6552 6500

Finance Minister’s office – 6552 6400

Housing Minister’s office – 6552 5300

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