FIRST HOME: Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett and JRZ Homes owner Jesse Zielke want to see the First Home Owner Grant risen back to $20,000.
FIRST HOME: Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett and JRZ Homes owner Jesse Zielke want to see the First Home Owner Grant risen back to $20,000. Toni Benson-Rogan

Workers to suffer from grant decrease: Owner

LOCAL jobs are at a significant risk after the decrease of the First Home Owners' Grant, says JRZ Homes owner Jesse Zielke.

Mr Zielke said up to four of his 20 employees could be out of work next year as a result of a decline in first home construction due to the lowering of the state government grant.

"First home owners play an important role in residential construction in Bundaberg - my business alone in the 2016-17 financial year built 16 homes for first home buyers, this year we're on track to probably build five,” Mr Zielke said.

"The cut of the boost to the First Home Owners' Grant from $20,000 to $15,000 in the last budget has affected my business quite significantly - speaking with other larger builders around town earlier today, it's also hurting them.”

Mr Zielke was joined by Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett to ask that the $5000 boost to the grant be reinstated for regional areas of Queensland.

Mr Bennett said that, as a registered builder himself, he believed the cost for new homes would increase by at least $8000 by next year as a repercussion of the grant's decrease.

"It is about the incentives that we need desperately in the Bundaberg region for first home construction and more importantly, the housing sector as a whole,” he said.

"It is important to realise that you can't keep cutting or adding costs to the construction sector.

"I can tell you that if the construction sector's booming the rest of the economy will feel the benefits.”

Two years ago, the grant was raised to $20,000 as an incentive to boost jobs in the construction industry - it was dropped back to $15,000 in this year's budget.

A government spokesperson told the NewsMail last week that the boost to the grant was only intended to be temporary.

"The grant was temporarily boosted to $20,000 for a set period and returned to $15,000, the rate it has been for a number of years, after that,” the spokesperson said.

"The Palaszczuk Government's First Home Owners' Grant is helping people to get into their new first homes sooner and helping to stimulate our local economy, generating jobs in construction.

"First home owners can use the grant to boost their savings for the purchase or construction of a new house, unit or townhouse with a value less than $750,000.”