Housing availability and suitability is a hot topic across the country at the moment, with Cloncurry Shire looking to combat the housing crisis.
Cloncurry Shire Council, in line with their 2021-2026 Corporate Plan, is responding to this call to action by progressing a number of projects and initiatives that will build new housing, increase the availability of land for continued investment in housing and accommodation, and reduce barriers to investing in both new and infill developments.
Projects included the construction of nine new houses in Perkins Street, planning for a new residential subdivision, and the leasing of land for the construction of nursing accommodation in Dajarra. These projects are supported by Council's Local Housing Action Plan, the Urban Renewal and Revitalisation Program, and a major amendment to the Cloncurry Shire Planning Scheme that reduces barriers to investment in new accommodation.
The Perkins Street Housing Development was identified as a key driver in attracting and retaining new families to the region. These nine new 'country-style executive homes' are designed to tackle two big challenges for the community: population attraction and retention, and the availability of high-quality housing. Stage 2 of the project is underway, with construction beginning on-site in late August. It is expected the $7.44m project will be delivered by April 2024, and Council is confident long-term "leases off the plan" will be secured before the year is out.
Cr Greg Campbell is excited to see this priority project for the Shire complete.
"A barrier to attracting mine workers to live locally and reduce FIFO has been the availability of suitable housing," he said.
"This new housing development offers greater incentives for mining companies to prioritise living locally, which in turn will boost our local economy. Driving local economic development will stimulate the local housing market."
Council is also progressing planning for a new residential subdivision. This subdivision anticipates demand for a range of construction types, from standard quarter-acre blocks with home and shed, to units and townhouses. This is intended to solve the availability, affordability and suitability of accommodation types for Cloncurry's increasingly diverse patterns of demand.
Underpinning these projects is a Local Housing Action Plan developed by Council in conjunction with the Western Queensland Alliance of Councils. The plan identifies areas of emerging concern, which include housing availability and the private rental market. Through stakeholder engagement and data reviews, responsive actions to these concerns will be prioritised.
The benefit of the collaborative action plan is being able to clearly capture the housing crisis in each Western Queensland Council, which will help inform lobbying and the distribution of funding.
"More people, make more noise. Tackling this issue across Western Queensland will see benefits for all involved. Our shires and communities out here rely on each other to support continued population attraction and improved liveability." Cr Campbell said.
Council is taking action to enable more residential and commercial development. A draft major amendment to the Cloncurry Shire Council Planning Scheme 2016 was endorsed at the August 2023 Ordinary Council Meeting and now moves to the State Interest Review. The amendments are designed to facilitate more development opportunities in Cloncurry.
Following the State Interest Review, the proposed amendments will be made available for public consultation.
Adding to drive for local development, is the Urban Renewal and Revitalisation Policy. One aim of this policy is to subsidise the demolition of derelict buildings to encourage housing redevelopment within established urban areas. The program is set to drive the transformation and revitalisation of the Shire, to make it a more attractive place to live, work, visit and invest.
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