Australia is in the midst of a critical wood shortage due to a surge in demand during the Covid-19 pandemic devastating bushfires on the back.
The shortage is causing wood prices to spike and is calling on the federal government to review their HomeBuilder program.
With COVID-19 travel restrictions forcing Australian families to postpone vacation plans, many have chosen to use the free money to rebuild their homes, making wood a rare and expensive commodity.
Australia is facing a wood shortage due to a renovation boom following the Black Summer bush fires. (Sydney Morning Herald)
Blacktown Building Supplies owner Phillip Screpis said he had to order wood from Russia to meet demand.
“I say no more than yes because of the care. There is no point in saying yes, I can, but I can’t take care of you for another three or four months,” said Screpis.
“The moment the thrust comes … what are you doing?”
Contributing to the shortage is the federal government’s HomeBuilder program, which grants grants of up to $ 25,000 to build a new home if construction begins within six months.
There are fears the shortage could affect recipients of the government’s HomeBuilder program. (Fairfax media)
There is now growing concern that beneficiaries will not have access to building materials in a timely manner to meet the grant requirements.
Alternatively, the grant could be absorbed by the additional cost of purchasing wood.
“There is a real risk that a lot of people will miss the grant because they can’t start construction in the next six months,” said Labor MP Jason Clare.
The black summer bushfires dealt a blow to Australia’s hardwood and softwood supplies, forcing many builders to source wood from overseas.
The black summer bushfires left Australia with a shortage of native hardwood and softwood. (AP)
Prices in the United States are up nearly 200 percent, which now has a big impact on the impact on Aussies trying to import wood from overseas.
“You probably searched eight months ago when you brought a container from overseas that would cost about $ 300. Now it’s $ 9,000 and up,” Screpis said.
The applications for the HomeBuilder program have been closed and no changes will be made at this time.
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