Home Improvement Scheme problems continue under Gunner GovernmentThe Gunner Government needs to remember it can’t hide away from the major problems the Home Improvement Scheme has created for tradies and small businesses across the Territory, and it urgently needs to address them, Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro said today. “Last week the Gunner Government reported that still only about 5 per cent of Scheme applications had been approved through a terribly slow process. This is not good enough and its hurting tradies and small businesses who are waiting for work to be approved through the bottleneck,” Mrs Finocchiaro said. “The ridiculous thing here is that this Scheme was meant to give tradies and small businesses a leg up during the downturn. It has only made things worse, with some businesses now on the brink of closure. “Two weeks ago I called for the Government to triple the number of staff dedicated to the approvals process. It is simply taking too long and having works not being able to be approved until September, October or even later is completely unacceptable.” Jane Ward of Regency Bathrooms is one affected small business and she said that while well intentioned, the Scheme rollout and design is disappointing. “The Home Improvement Scheme is a well-intentioned move from the Government. But it has caused major issues in work flow and cash flow for my business and many others that I deal with,” Jane Ward said. “I wish the Government would recognise this, speed up the approval processes or even just allow individual businesses to know how many of their quotes have been chosen over other businesses, so we can get an idea of the work that might be coming our way. “I put a lot of work into quotes for this Scheme, but now we don’t even know if those quotes have been submitted by homeowners. This has caused a huge amount of stress. I’m not normally one to want to speak to the media, but I feel I have to do something for my business and all the others that are affected,” Jane Ward concluded. “I urge the Chief Minister to take action and speed up the approvals process for the Scheme immediately. If he waits too long, it may be too late for some businesses,” Mrs Finocchiaro concluded.
"Only together can we build a better Territory for you and your family.”
- LIA FINOCCHIARO MLA, Leader of the Country Liberal Party and member for Spillett