In a surprise announcement made after the Homebuilder Grant application deadline, the Australian Government has announced an amendment to the Grant that is greatly beneficial to all parties involved.
The Homebuilder Grant has been hugely successful in the revitalisation of the property market during the pandemic by incentivising Australians to purchase, build or renovate their property. The amendment extends the deadline for construction to commence from 6 months to 18 months after the initial contract has been signed, which creates wide reaching benefits for all Australians such as:
Relieving pressure on builders
Applicants are worrying that the builders will not be able to commence construction within 6 months of the contract date according to the grant requirements. The huge influx of demand for builders added to global supply shortages due to the pandemic meant many builders faced difficulty obtaining the necessary materials and manpower to commence construction within the short time frame. Additionally, local councils were receiving much more development applications and required more time than usual for assessment and approvals.
The extension’s purpose was to ensure that existing applicants will not be denied the Grant due to circumstances outside their control according to Treasurer Josh Frydenburg. Builders now have ample time to obtain approvals and resources to confidently meet the current demand, while Applicants no longer need to worry about the construction deadline. Having an extra year to commence construction also ensures that builders will not use cheaper substitute material or cut corners to rush to begin construction. Builders can source proper materials to build giving Purchasers will have a peace of mind regarding the quality and safety of their houses.
Sustaining long-term economic activity
With the extension of the deadline, the Australian Government is also trying to maintain long-term economic growth rather than just a short burst of activity. Builders can organise the construction of their current projects around the extended 18 months and allocate their demand for resources over the period. This spreads out the growth of the building sector, creating more business activity and employment over the extended period.
Unfortunately, this extension DOES NOT extend the application deadline of 14 April 2021. Upon enquiry to the Revenue NSW, they have confirmed that no new applications will be accepted, and the extension only applies to existing applicants.
The Australian Government has succeeded in their goals of stimulating the building industry with the overwhelming success of the Homebuilder Grant and the amendments further relieves existing concerns regarding the building deadline. We hope to see further governmental grants and schemes to promote the economy, and please keep an eye on our articles to stay updated on any new advances. Do not hesitate to contact us at 02 9267 4988 or Vincent.email@example.com at any time if we can assist you in any way.
In response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Australian Government has imposed increased requirements on Foreign investments into Australia on 21 or 29 March 2020. However, new unexpected changes to the Foreign Investments Review Board were implemented beginning 1 January 2021 which lifted the previous restrictions, reverting to pre-covid situations and more.
These changes will make it easier for foreign investors to invest in Australia, and we have summarised the important aspects of the changes below:
In 2020, the Australian government temporarily reduced notification thresholds for commercial acquisitions to $0 due to Covid-19. All foreign investments and purchases will be required to obtain FIRB approval, creating lengthy delays with approval timeframes extended up to 6 months. In the unstable economy, the government intended to provide appropriate oversight over all proposed foreign investments to protect and support Australian businesses and Australian jobs.
Starting 1 January 2021, the notification thresholds for commercial acquisitions prior to the Covid-19 amendments have been reinstated and investors NO LONGER need to obtain approvals for commercial acquisitions below the notification threshold. This benefits foreign small business owners and commercial property investors, who will not need to obtain FIRB approval prior to their investments which, saving valuable time and costs.
This shows that the Government wants to increase the amount of foreign investments into Australia and are optimistic that Australia is still an attractive investment destination. Having more investments into Australia will help boost the economy after the pandemic and create more jobs for the local community while injecting more money back into the economy.
Under the new changes, the FIRB also has increased powers regarding National Interests. A mandatory FIRB approval will be needed if the acquisition involves a notifiable national security action, and the FIRB are also able to impose new conditions or vary present conditions even after FIRB approval in certain situations.
With the announcement of Covid vaccinations being available to Australians soon, the country is on its way to recovery from the pandemic. Through the recent changes to the FIRB approvals, the Government is encouraging more foreign investments to kick-start the economy’s growth.
This is a good time for Foreign Investors to take advantage of the reinstated thresholds to invest in Australian land and businesses efficiently and effectively. However, Investors will also need to be aware if their acquisitions are related to national security, as these investments may be imposed with further requirements. Despite the current unpredictable pandemic situation, Foreign Investors can remain positive that the Australian Government will continue to welcome foreign investments and may even introduce further measures to stimulate further investment activities.
If you have any queries regarding FIRB approvals, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time at 02 9267 4988 or Vincent.firstname.lastname@example.org.