Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin MP welcomed the Assistant Minister to the Treasurer the Hon Michael Sukkar MP to the Limestone Coast last week.The Assistant Minister has been key in developing housing policies in the Federal Government.

The Assistant Minister attended a roundtable discussion organised by Mr Pasin with the local financial services sector in Mount Gambier where housing affordability was a hot topic of discussion.

“The Government has introduced legislation to Parliament to help Australians purchase their first home and reduce the barriers that discourage retirees from downsizing their home. I invited the Assistant Minister to Barker to speak directly to those in industries who will be affected by these changes,” said Mr Pasin.

Assistant Minister Sukkar said that it was a productive forum where Government reforms were discussed.

“Australians are entering the housing market later in life than previous generations. With house prices high, difficulty saving a deposit is a key barrier to getting into the market,” the Assistant Minister said.

The Government will help Australians boost their savings for their first home by allowing them to save for a deposit inside superannuation through the First Home Super Saver Scheme.

Under this Scheme, individuals can make contributions of up to $30,000, up to $15,000 per year, to their superannuation account to buy their first home.

In addition to helping first home buyers save for a deposit, the Government is taking action to reduce barriers to older Australians downsizing. This will increase housing supply in the market.

“Older Australians will be given greater flexibility to contribute the proceeds of the sale of their home into superannuation,” said the Assistant Minister.

From 1 July 2018, people aged over 65 will be able to make a non-concessional contribution of up to $300,000 into superannuation from the sale of their family home, held for at least 10 years.

Both members of a couple can use this measure, meaning up to $600,000 of contributions may be made by a couple.

“This measure will help free up housing stock, in particular larger homes for younger growing families, by reducing barriers to older people downsizing from homes that no longer meet their needs,” said the Assistant Minister.

Mr Pasin and the Assistant Minister also visited Timberlink in Tarpeena where housing supply was again the topic of discussion.

Residential house framing is still the biggest market segment for sawn timber products, predominantly softwood solid sawn and engineered wood products.

There has been increased demand for durable external products (cladding, decking, screens, boardwalks, landscaping) as well as treated timber for durability and pest resistance.

Strong demand also continues for appearance products such as flooring, lining, joinery, cabinetry, windows, doors and stairs.

In simple terms any supply side measures adopted by governments, both State and Federal, such as the release of more land and/or more efficient and lower cost approvals process, would drive growth in new housing starts and in turn fan further demand for domestic wood products.

“At present the timber and wood products industry has a lot to be optimistic about and we can now add the strong desire of Governments across the nation to address the housing affordability crisis as another reason to be bullish about the industry,” Mr Pasin said.

Assistant Minister Sukkar said the Federal Government’s housing policies would have a positive impact on the timber industry.

“If we can help first home buyers save for a deposit and remove barriers to older Australians downsizing that’s a great first step to boosting the new housing market, which will translate into increased demand for timber,” said the Assistant Minister.

Tony Pasin said these measures would boost local industries in Barker and drive job creation.

“Although we may not have a housing affordability crisis in Barker, it’s important to remember that these measurers have important flow on effects to our local economy,” said Mr Pasin.


CONTACT: Charlotte Edmunds 8531 2466