The Queensland Government has announced a $267m stimulus package geared towards boosting the construction industry as the state ramps up its COVID-19 recovery efforts.

As a part of the package, a $100m cash grant has been allocated to the Works for Tradies program, which supports the construction of social housing across the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Wide Bay, Moreton Bay, Toowoomba, and Ipswich areas by the end of next year.

Regional Queenslanders purchasing a newly constructed home will also receive a $5,000 grant as part of an additional $106m stimulus. The cash grant is on top of the existing $15,000 available to all Queensland first-home buyers of properties valued at less than $750,000.

A further $10m has been allotted to seniors and people with disability, who are eligible for grants of up to $5,000 to renovate and repair their homes.

The government has also set aside $50m for minor building projects in South-East Queensland and $1.175m for upgrading technical and further education (TAFE) campuses to support tradies in training.

“The stimulus package we’re announcing… will keep our tradies on the tools and the building supply chain moving, while supporting first home buyers and responding to homelessness impacts from COVID-19,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

“Together, the measures in this package will deliver jobs for electricians, plumbers, carpenters, bricklayers, concreters and landscapers, as well as a wealth of new opportunities for local businesses that support their work.”

Queensland Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni expected 500 projects to commence by the end of September and a further 500 by the end of the year. An additional 1,000 projects were expected to start by the end of June 2021.

“We’ve worked closely with the construction and housing support industries to identify these opportunities and we are looking forward to continuing this positive engagement as the pipeline of works rolls out,” he said.