Stimulus package boost

The state government is fast-tracking $3.4 million of social housing maintenance projects in Whyalla, which will lead to a boost in local employment

The stimulus will provide more opportunities for both skilled and unskilled labour, with the employment opportunities only open to Whyalla residents.

The project will play a pivotal role in allowing local companies to provide more apprenticeships, which have been in short supply locally.

Minister for Social Housing Zoe Bettison said the government put together the project in order to help both Whyalla's Housing SA tenants and local contractors.

“It will give some people a chance to land their first job, we've been talking to people about what we need here and this is one way that we're helping to stimulate this part of the economy,” she said.

“We have a very active maintenance program, we always have a list of maintenance that needs to be done – but here in Whyalla 220 of our public housing homes will have these upgrades.

The maintenance to social housing properties will include:

  • 42 kitchen upgrades
  • 49 bathroom upgrades
  • replacement roofing, gutters, windows concrete or fencing at 62 units
  • external upgrades at a group of 15 two-bedroom units
  • horticultural works

Housing trust owner Anne Kamin said she was excited to have her bathroom, kitchen, and laundry upgraded as part of the project.

“I've been waiting for the upgrade to my bathroom for the last 11 years, so I was elated to find out that the maintenance would be happening soon,” she said.

“The upgrades will mean the house is easier to maintain, the bathroom was getting quite antiquated, my shower was in my bath before and trying to climb into the shower over the bath was becoming a bit of a nightmare.”

Manager of local business Carlson & Sons Steve Carlson said the package provided him with an opportunity to take on new workers.

“At this stage this package has allowed us to employed our new people including two new apprentices, which is great for our business,” he said.

Member for Giles Eddie Hughes said he had spoken to a variety of Housing SA tenants about upgrades, and was pleased to see the maintenance brought forward.

“This initiative is incredibly important, we're all hanging out for the resolution of the Arrium sale process, and as a government we have to do all we can to provide some extra stimulus while that process is going on,” he said.