Budget to Provide for Queenslanders Most in Need


At risk Pine Rivers and Kallangur residents in need of social housing will benefit from a $456.5 million capital works program, outlined this week in the 2012-13 State Budget.

Housing and Public Works Minister Bruce Flegg said the Newman Government had significantly invested in the future of Queensland's social housing system.

"Since taking office, this Government has been implementing reforms to social housing including addressing under-occupancy, introducing fixed-term leases and building partnerships with community housing organisations to make inroads into the 30,000 families on the waiting list," Dr Flegg said.

State Member for Pine Rivers, Mr Seath Holswich, said the Government had delivered on its promises to cut red tape in the building industry by removing the requirement for sustainability declarations and increasing the amount of work plumbers can complete without seeking council approval.

"We've made difficult decisions like cutting funding to the Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service to ensure that every available dollar is channelled directly into more providing more houses," Mr Holswich said.

State Member for Kallangur, Mr Trevor Ruthenberg, said the $456.5 million capital works allocation would allow for construction of 72 new rental units and the completion of at least 534 more.

"This includes $238.6 million which will be allocated for Indigenous housing programs and includes federal funding from the National Partnership Agreement for Remote Indigenous Housings," he said.

"This funding will be used to build more than 65 new dwellings, and finish, upgrade and maintain more than 5,000 dwellings in Indigenous communities."

"The Government will also spend $31.8 million to complete the final 14 projects under the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan, which will deliver an additional 286 dwellings."

Mr Holswich said the Newman Government would continue to support the National Rental Affordability Scheme and the National Regulatory System for non-government housing providers.

"Partnerships with community housing providers are essential for filling the gap in public housing supply."

"National regulation will ensure community housing organisations only have to comply with a single set of regulations and can operate across jurisdictions while dealing with the Department of Housing and Public Works."

Other priorities for the Department of Housing and Public Works in 2012-13 are:

• Continuing to provide building procurement and project management services to the various Commonwealth Games coordination working groups for each of the sporting venues in consultation with key Games stakeholders;
• Providing $2.1 million over three years and $1 million ongoing to ensure a consistent standard of maintenance and a state of preparedness for the ten new multipurpose cyclone shelters soon to be completed in North Queensland;
• Reviewing the Retirement Villages Act 1999 to ensure the welfare of seniors is protected; and
• Amending the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003 to provide clarity and certainty for manufactured home and residential park owners in relation to the supply of utilities such as energy and water.

Mr Ruthenberg said the Budget was the most important budget in a generation and would help put the state on the path to prosperity.