Built environment | Urban Planning | Cities

New home grants available for all in SA

For the first time, a housing construction grant of $8500 to build a new home or apartment will be available for not only first home owners but for everyone, announced SA Premier, Jay Weatherhill at a CEDA forum in Adelaide.

For the first time, a housing construction grant of $8500 to build a new home or apartment will be available for not only first home owners but for everyone, announced SA Premier, Jay Weatherill at a CEDA forum in Adelaide.

We are refocusing our first home owner grant to support new construction, he said.

"First home owners will now be entitled to $23,500 in assistance up from $15,000," he said.

"We will provide for these grants by reducing the existing first home owners grant for established homes to $5000, which will be phased out from 2014.

"This sector is an important driver of economic growth in our economy and it is imperative we act to support the sector."

The measures, designed in consultation with participants in the Construction Industry Round Table, aim to stimulate new construction, he said.

Mr Weatherill told attendees that the State cannot afford to lose the skills, activity and capabilities which exist in this sector as it is necessary for the future.

Also part of Mr Weatherill's vision for the future, he believes Adelaide will be recognised as one of the great small cities of the world by 2050.

However he acknowledged the city has a perception of being dull and conservative, and this is a threat to Adelaide's competitiveness as a destination for skills, people and investment.

"We recognise that our future success will depend on our success in attracting and retaining people, and (having a culture of) creativity and innovation," he said.

To achieve this goal, he said he aims to increase street life in the CBD and grow residential capacity by closing laneways to traffic, establishing bars and live music venues in the city, stimulating job growth, encouraging more investment, and interstate and overseas visitors.

Mr Weatherill also outlined the future direction of other areas of the economy including mining, manufacturing, and food and wine.

On mining, he aims for SA to become the mining services hub, not just for the mining industry in SA but across the nation and in the world.

He also emphasised traditional manufacturing faces increased pressure from the demanding global market place, and cannot compete with low labour cost countries on the basis of price.

"SA must adapt its manufacturing capabilities. We need a strong advanced manufacturing sector which competes on the basis of superior design and innovation capabilities," he said.

"We will supply high value and high technology products to the global supply chain in established areas like mining, defence technology, and in growing areas such as renewable energy, high tech automotive manufacture, and medical technology."

Like manufacturing, the food production industry cannot compete on the basis of price with countries where labour costs are lower and food production standards are less rigorous, Mr Weatherill said.

"Global demand for food will rise by more than 70 per cent by 2050 and consumption patterns are also changing. The rise of demand concerns not only the quantity of food but its quality…SA can market its pristine environment to the world with our primary products from clean soil, air and water," he said.

He said SA's long term prosperity will be determined by long term productivity growth.

"These productivity improvements demand a renewed commitment to innovation across the whole of the community," he said.

"This will involve a change in workplace culture. This means from business and leadership, but also from the SA public sector and its leadership. Our future success will also depend on a change of perspective to a more outward looking SA."

University of Adelaide, Vice Chancellor, Professor Warren Bebbington provided a vision for the future of education, highlighting higher education will:

  • Have a greater online focus;
  • Be less dominated by school leavers; and
  • Research will be more dependent of global partnerships.

He said Adelaide will become a university town and will be ranked within the top 20 university towns   in the world, and be known as safe, secure, easy to navigate, clean and cultural.

BusinessSA, CEO, Nigel McBride said he expected Adelaide to be seen as a world class boutique city with a reputation for uniqueness in design and architecture, like cities such as Edinburgh.

He said Adelaide will no longer be concerned about what its Australian cousin states will think, Adelaide will be interested in international cities such as Mumbai and Hanoi.

Mr McBride predicted Adelaide will have the biggest fringe festival in the world because it will capture the South East Asian hub and be likened to cities like Dublin for its live music, Copenhagen for its design and advanced manufacturing, and Boston for its world class education.