These additional funds, which are part of the efforts to boost local jobs and underpin economic growth, build on the earlier $147m infrastructure investment announced by the federal and the Northern Territory governments in November. The funding is expected to help the territory as it recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The package consists of $40.4m investment from the federal government and $12.7m funding from the Northern Territory.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this investment will also play a crucial role in the federal government's JobMaker plan.
"Partnering with state and territory governments to invest in more major infrastructure projects across Australia is a key part of our JobMaker plan to rebuild our economy and create more jobs," he said.
The federal government is working closely with the Northern Territory government to identify shovel-ready projects, with a focus on road safety upgrades, particularly along major routes such as the Stuart, Barkly, Carpentaria and Victoria Highways.
Scheme to boost construction
The release of Northern Territory's Home Improvement Scheme (HIS) has boosted the activity in the local construction industry.
As part of its efforts to support the local economy amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the Northern Territory government initially allocated $30m for the HIS, which was eventually expanded to $100m. The scheme is expected to progress 20,000 "screwdriver-ready" projects across the territory.
The scheme, which operates on a voucher system, will grant homeowners up to $6,000 for renovation works.
Will Johnson, local expert at Herron Todd White, said the scheme was a great incentive for not only home improvements but a kick-starter for trades and services.
“Another great positive in this scheme is that investors can also benefit, the government making it clear from the onset that investors who own a home and are a resident in the Northern Territory could also benefit,” he said.
What could this mean for the housing market? Johnson said the territory is still in a wait-and-see position.
“If we can continue on the current trajectory, with social distancing and also avoiding the second wave, we may see confidence return much sooner than expected with local sentiment already beginning to turn,” he said.
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