Monday 26th of October 2020

the new BLOCK-head, junior trump, appeals to colorbond-roofed bogans...


Scott Morrison’s attempt to cut Labor’s grass almost ended in tears on Thursday morning.

The Prime Minister made an early morning visit to the Queanbeyan growth suburb of Googong to spruik $25,000 cash grants for residential construction.

The government’s $688 million HomeBuilder announcement doubled as a campaign event for the Liberals’ Fiona Kotvojs in the Eden-Monaro by-election battle.

But it wasn’t just Thursday’s sub-zero temperatures that gave the assembled press pack with a chilly start to the day.

A bearded man braved the elements to interrupt the Prime Minister as he extolled the virtues of stimulating the building sector.

“Can everyone get off the grass please? Come on,” the exasperated Googonger said.

“Guys, I’ve just reseeded that.”

A sideways shuffle seemed to satisfy him.

Thumbs ups exchanged, Mr Morrison cranked back into gear, talking up tradies’ chances in a sector weathering the coronavirus storm.

Googong’s sea of Colorbond roofs is exactly the type of place the Liberals are trawling for votes ahead of the July 4 poll.

A victory would make it the first time for 100 years a government has won a seat from an opposition in a by-election.


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another exclusive rort for 27,000 home owners...

The Government's HomeBuilder scheme offers $25k for home renovations — but not everyone will qualify

The Federal Government has unveiled its HomeBuilder package, offering $25,000 for people to upgrade or build their homes — but access to the scheme's free money won't come cheap.

The eligibility criteria are reasonably tight, with the Government expecting about 27,000 homeowners or builders to access the scheme.

For comparison, there are 7.7 million private dwellings in Australia, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The scheme's primary goal is to supply work for the residential construction sector, but some people planning a big project are set to benefit.

Here are the conditions you'll need to meet to access HomeBuilder, and how the scheme will work.

Am I eligible?

On a basic level:

  • You need to be an adult Australian citizen with a taxable income less than $125,000 a year. If you live with your partner, your combined income has to be less than $200,000 per year
  • Before the end of the year, you need to enter a contract to renovate or build your main place of residence, with construction to begin within three months of the contract date (no investment properties)
  • For renovations, you need to spend between $150,000 and $750,000 of your own money, and the house you're renovating must be valued at less than $1.5 million prior to renovations
  • Renovations need to improve the accessibility, safety or liveability of the home and don't include external work like swimming pools, tennis courts and sheds
  • For new builds, the total value of the completed home needs to be less than $750,000, including land

Should you meet the criteria, there is still a handful of requirements on the contract side.

For instance, your contract needs to be negotiated at a fair market price, to prevent people from asking their builder to puff up the costs so you can access the grant.



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scomo, trump junior, pisses money against the porcelain...

The Morrison government’s $688 million home renovation scheme to boost construction amid the coronavirus has been called a “wasted opportunity”.

The government, which had dropped details about its signature HomeBuilder all week, finally released the nuts and bolts on Thursday – the temporary program will provide $25,000 grants to eligible home buyers and renovators.

New house and land packages worth up to $750,000 and renovations worth $150,000 or more will be eligible for the uncapped program. On Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the scheme would save jobs and help Australians “keep the dream alive”.

It came after Master Builders Australia predicted a 40 per cent decline in residential construction, with 450,000 jobs on the line in the next six months because of coronavirus.

“We were facing the valley of death towards hundreds of thousands of job losses,” chief executive Denita Wawn said.

But the Australian Council of Social Service said giving home owners and renovators cash handouts represented a wasted opportunity to deal with the backlog of urgent social housing repairs and the shortfall in social housing stock.

“There is no argument that the construction sector needs a shot in the arm, but this money will not go where it is most needed,” CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said.

“It will largely benefit those on middle and higher incomes undertaking costly renovations, without any related social or environmental benefits.”


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home reno...

home reno


Brilliant cartoon by Cathy Wilcox, SMH, 5 june 2020... How did she know I live in a cardboard box?


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you shall have a better kitchen for you to be barefooted in...

Quick-fix stimulus plans ignore ‘legacy inequities’

It has been widely reported that women have been disproportionately impacted by the virus. The PM’s HomeBuilder scheme will provide work for tradies on renovations ready to start in the next three months. How many jobs will that mean for women? We’re told the fastest-growing group of homeless people is older women. No help for them, Scott Morrison? We know that female-led households endure more poverty than those headed by men. How many of them will benefit?

We should do away with legacy inequities and old quick fix economic answers loved by conservative governments. Until we have economic stimulus, support and subsidies that put women who lost employment and childcare as the starting point, everything is the same.

Sandra Rogers, Glebe


How can the government find large amounts of money for a home renovation scheme when we have thousands of homeless Australians? What is needed right now is an innovative social housing building scheme to offer hope to those sleeping rough, or on the couches of friends and in cars. This scheme would not only provide jobs but an opportunity for the much-needed repair of existing social housing and would shorten the long list of less fortunate Australians waiting for a roof over their heads.

Lillian Bennetts, Green Point


The best thing about the past few months has been watching politicians act like adults. They have been working together, listening to the science and making decisions for the common good. But now, we have a stimulus package that ignores our need for public housing. The emergency is over. The children are back.

Anne Kirman, Kellyville (6/6/20)



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upper crust benefit...



and we'll be buying votes...

The Morrison government will unveil $86m for primary producers hit by the summer bushfires and the coronavirus pandemic as the byelection contest in Eden-Monaro accelerates into the closing fortnight.

The package to be unveiled by the Coalition on Tuesday includes a $31m grant fund, with payments of $120,000 a hectare available for bushfire-impacted apple growers.

Apple orchards around the inland town of Batlow were decimated during the summer bushfires, and recovery from that catastrophe is front-and-centre in the contest.

The Liberal party’s television advertising in the contest emphasises that the candidate, Fiona Kotvojs, will be able to deliver for constituents hammered by the two disasters because she will be a member of the incumbent government, rather than a member of the opposition.


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The money should be made available whoever wins the byelection. Should the Scummo government rescind on it because Labor wins, this would prove the Buy-Votes Scumdog tactics... He should resign in shame... but he won't...


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sports-rorts was chicken feed compared to the next level of rorts...


a shortage of social housing...

There has been one consistent, loud and very helpful suggestion made from many quarters about what the federal government could most efficiently and productively do to stimulate employment and business: Build extra social housing.

And the verdict from the federal government is: No – it’s not happening.

With perverse synchronicity, on the same day a telling National Homelessness Week report was released, the AFR‘s Phil Coorey had the inside word that, while the government would pepper its October budget with housing incentives, it didn’t want to know about social housing.

Federal Housing Minister Michael Sukkar reportedly told a closed conference that the Commonwealth did not want to “usurp the states and territories” on social housing.

A mildly sceptical soul might think there are no votes for the Coalition in social housing, so the government will leave it to the states and instead trot out various shades of middle-class housing welfare that will play well to the faithful.

A little perspective before moving on, a little stating-the-obvious from more reports and studies over the years than I care to remember:

  • There is a shortage of social housing. The story differs a bit from place to place, but lengthy waiting lists are rather standard. Even crisis accommodation is often in short supply
  • The real housing crisis in Australia isn’t affordability for first-home buyers, but shelter for people who will never be able to buy a home
  • The proportion of public housing in Australia is low by developed world standards and has been steadily falling for decades

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