Another failed Cook Labor Government scheme as housing supply remains desperate

The Cook Labor Government’s $11 million Construction Visa Subsidy Program is yet another failure by WA Labor to deliver any meaningful progress on housing, according to Shadow Housing Minister Steve Martin.

“Reports that the program has so far only attracted 14 new skilled workers since it was announced in May is an absolute embarrassment for a government that talks a big game but has yet again failed to deliver,” Mr Martin said.

“This was a program that promised to bring 1100 tradies into WA by mid-2024 to fill critical shortages in the housing market but has only managed to recruit 14.

“These are skilled workers like carpenters, electricians, civil engineers, plasterers – people the construction industry desperately needs.

“With six months to go, they have reached 1.2 per cent of the target and have got another 1,086 to recruit, it’s an absolute joke.

“The Construction Visa Subsidy Program is just the latest in a growing list of Cook Labor Government schemes and media releases that have failed to deliver.”

Mr Martin said it was disappointing to also see Training and Workforce Development Minister Simone McGurk yet again point the finger and blame everyone else for the dismal response.

“If the Minister was serious about pulling every lever to address the housing crisis, she would be picking up the phone to her Labor mates in Canberra to advocate for these workers trying to secure visas.”

Mr Martin said there clearly was no urgency from the Cook Labor Government to fix the housing crisis.

“The Housing Supply Unit was announced in October but won’t meet until sometime next year,” he said.

“The regional modular build program announced in 2021 has only delivered 61 homes and the Urban Connect loans program attracted only 11 applications in the first year.

“Labor has been in power for nearly seven years and Western Australians are facing the worst housing crisis in decades.

“The rate of home construction approvals is eight per cent lower than last year, the rental vacancy rate remains at 0.7 per cent and there are 50 enquiries for every rental listing that goes up in metropolitan WA, the go-slow approach to fixing it is not good enough.”