19th May, 2014

New infrastructure spending promises to benefit tradies

One of the most promising parts of the May 13 budget has been the announcement of a new $50 billion infrastructure package. 

This makes the 2014 budget announcement the largest infrastructure investment programme in Australia's history.

CEO of Master Builders Wilhelm Harnisch highlighted the benefits that this budget would bring for tradies, whose skills will be vital in realising new infrastructure projects.

"The building and construction industry particularly welcomes the Government's $50 billion infrastructure package, which will support $125 billion in construction work," Mr Harnisch said.

The majority of new infrastructure spending is set for Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, providing a number of opportunities for tradies in these states.

With building and construction confidence remaining high, it is going to become more important than ever to have the proper levels of construction insurance. Accidental damage, stolen tools and extreme weather all pose a threat on construction sites.

Cessation of 'Tools for your Trade' a hazard for new tradies.

While the budget promises good news for tradies looking for projects, there was also some bad news for apprentices with the cancelling of the Tools for Your Trade programme.

Tools for Your Trade enabled apprentices to receive tax-free cash payments to cover starting-out costs like purchasing tools and training courses.

"The cessation of funding for the Tools For Your Trade program is disappointing but is offset by the Trade Support Loans for apprentices," Mr Harnisch said.

Trade Support Loans will provide up to $20,000 in interest-free loans for apprentices to cover tools, equipment and training costs.

With it becoming more difficult for apprentices to finance new tools, tradies insurance is becoming even more important. Adequate protection will ensure that if tools are stolen they can be replaced without having to take on large debts.

Author: Murray Bruce