Labor Promises 'Talks' On Great Start Grant

Published : 23 June 2015

There may be good news ahead for first home buyers, according to Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt - but it won't be any time soon.

Mr Pitt said the Labor Government was open to discussions about bringing existing housing back into the fold of the Great Start Grant. But it wouldn't happen this term.

When introduced, the first homeowner grant of $7000 was available for existing properties, as a way of compensating for the expected increase in the cost of housing following the introduction of the GST.

Mr Pitt told members of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) that any changes to how the grant operated needed wider consultation, as well as backing by all major stakeholders, in terms of something that would help stimulate activity and contribute to the economy.

Mr Pitt, who took office in February, said there were views both ways about the merits of the first homeowner grant, but the residential building sector had been very supportive of the $15,000 Great Start Grant and the Labor Government would continue with this initiative.

He also ruled out an end to stamp duty this term, saying it was something the REIQ wanted, but it wouldn't be considered at this stage.

“Combined with payroll tax, transfer duty or stamp duty make up more than 50 per cent of state government revenue in terms of taxation. It is not something that you can just walk away from overnight," he said.