Tasmanians urged to take advantage of $15,000 building boost Mon 25 February 2013 Lara Giddings Premier Tasmanians have been encouraged to take advantage of the $15,000 First Home Builder's Boost. The Premier, Lara Giddings, used the opening of the Housing Industry Association's new headquarters to remind Tasmanians that applications for the incentive are now open. The initiative is a key part of the $24.5m Tasmanian Jobs Package and aims to support the construction of 1100 new homes over the next 18 months. Ms Giddings said industry organisations like the HIA and local builders had reported an increase in enquiries about building new homes since the scheme opened on January 1. "Given the lead time in drafting plans, gaining approvals and securing finance, we expect this early interest to be reflected in applications for the scheme in the coming months. "I would certainly encourage people thinking about buying a new home to seriously consider building. "The $15,000 boost, combined with lower interest rates mean there has never been a better time to build your own home." Ms Giddings said the building and construction sector is Tasmania's second largest employer, with a current workforce of around 18,500 Tasmanians. "Jobs are my Government's number one priority and we are a proud supporter of the construction and home building sector. "Every new home constructed has flow on benefits for up to 30 small business, from builders to plumbers, plasterers, electricians, concreters, carpet layers and kitchen installers." Ms Giddings said the State Government would continue to work constructively with the HIA to grow jobs and opportunities in the building sector.