New home construction and major renovation projects could be boosted through cash grants under a federal government coronavirus recovery plan.
The ailing entertainment sector is also likely to receive stimulus, with the focus shifting from economy-wide packages to targeted assistance.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the government was considering giving householders cash grants for home renovations.
“We are more interested in the larger projects and new home builds and things like that,” he told 2GB on Monday.
“We are looking at a bit of drop off in that current home building that’s going on. That’s not good for tradies and not good for jobs.”
He said it would be important any construction industry measures helped local tradies rather than major contractors.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said an announcement would be made soon, with the government conscious of long supply chains associated with building.
“It’s not just the sparky and the plumber and the carpenter on the building site, it’s also the timber mill,” he told reporters in Melbourne.
“It’s also the appliance manufacturer for the new kitchen. It’s also those who help with the materials that go into the bathroom.”
Labor frontbencher Bill Shorten is wary of the details.
“If you offer a free grant for the price of say $5000 dollars, then normally what happens is the cost of whatever you’re providing the grant for goes up by $5000,” he told Sky News.
Mr Morrison said he had been in talks with key entertainment sector figures over the weekend.
“One of the challenges is going to be that the entertainment sector will find it difficult to get capital moving again because they’ve had to draw down on it so significantly,” he said.
The government has copped heavy criticism from Labor for not doing more to help the arts sector through the crisis.
The opposition has been calling for a specific package with many missing out on JobKeeper wage subsidies.
But the treasurer said many arts workers were benefiting from the scheme.
Meanwhile, Mr Frydenberg says the market is anticipating negative growth in the March quarter when the latest national accounts figures are released on Wednesday.
He said bushfires and the onset of coronavirus restrictions were behind the expected fall.
“The Australian economy’s been remarkably resilient,” Mr Frydenberg.
“We went into the crisis from a position of great strength and that’s going to help us out of this crisis.”