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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Grant extension labelled as “vote buying” by KAP

HINCHINBROOK MP and Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Deputy Leader Nick Dametto has claimed the Queensland Government is “vote buying” after the recent announcement that the First Home Owner Grant (the Grant) will be doubled from $15,000 to $30,000.

The change to the grant came into effect today (20 November) and will remain current until 30 June 2025.

Mr Dametto said that while the State Government’s announcement sounded good, 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,” he said.

“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.”

Mr Dametto instead drew attention to KAP’s own changes to The Grant which, according to them, would assist more people in trying to buy their first home.

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 average cost of a new house builds these days is over $470,000, and even higher in rural areas,” Mr Dametto said.

“On top of that you can add 12-year high interest rates and 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.”

Mr Dametto said KAP would continue to lobby for these changes to be made.

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Sleep master class at Reef House and Over 200 child sex offences for Redlynch man.

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