The Gunner Government’s $100 million public housing stimulus has seen tradies awarded work they’re unqualified for in the program’s early stages. Picture: Keri Megelus
The Gunner Government’s $100 million public housing stimulus has seen tradies awarded work they’re unqualified for in the program’s early stages. Picture: Keri Megelus

Unqualified tradies awarded work in stimulus program

TRADIES have been awarded contracts they are unqualified to complete under the Gunner Government's $100 million public housing stimulus, the Department of Housing has confirmed.

A Department of Housing spokeswoman confirmed during the initial stages of the program, businesses were given contracts outside its capabilities but said "controls around this have been tightened".

She said the controls were put in place in early 2019.

A local builder first heard reports while attending one of the department consultations with tradies about the program last year.

"The work obviously should go to the tradesmen who do that work," he said.

"The ones who do want the work and are in that field are missing out."

The builder, who has yet to receive a contract, said the stimulus did not create equal opportunities as promised.

"It's not fair when everyone doesn't get a chance," he said.

"It's supposed to be stimulating the whole NT. It's not working to everyone's advantage and it's not stimulating the economy either."

The stimulus was designed to give businesses opportunities to access works quickly without the lengthy process of becoming a panel contractor.

It is understood businesses, when signing up to the stimulus, are ticking multiple trades outside their business capabilities to have a higher chance of receiving work.

When awarded contracts outside their trade, businesses are outsourcing the work to companies not signed up to the stimulus.

To date the program has awarded 386 contract.

The spokeswoman did not confirm how many of these contracts were given to unqualified tradies and said the program was "constantly monitored and reviewed to maximise outcomes".

The program's registration form does not ask businesses to provide an Australian Business Number, Australian Company Number or any trading licenses.

The spokeswoman said businesses were required to provide proof of accreditation when being considered for a tender.