Western Australia Minister for Lands Brendon Grylls
Pilbara Cities Project To Deliver Affordable Housing For Karratha Service Workers
Victor P Taffa
Earthworks are set to start on a service workers’ accommodation village in Karratha, which will deliver much-needed affordable rental accommodation for non-resource sector employees.
The project is a key component of the State Government’s Royalties for Region’s Pilbara Cities initiative to revitalise the town of Karratha.
Western Australia Minister for Lands Brendon Grylls said the $30.4 Million service workers’ accommodation village is the first of its kind in Western Australia and would provide 100 units to house up to 250 people.
“The village will include a mixture of one, two and three-bedroom units and become a key tool to help local employers retain staff in jobs outside the mining sector.” Mr. Grylls said.
“We urgently need affordable housing for those people who are working in those essential community sectors such as retail, tourism, and other support industries.”
“The initiative aims to deliver rents in the range of $350 to $450, significantly less than average weekly rent prices in the town.” the Minister said.
“This is huge step forward in helping small business in Karratha to not only attract staff but retain them.”
The Minister said the private sector had last year been invited to submit expressions of interest to construct the accommodation village on a five hectare site at the corner of Searipple and Warrambie roads in the heart of Karratha.
The preferred proponent was National Lifestyle Villages which will deliver the project on the ground in Karratha.
“The National Lifestyle Villages proposal has added real benefit to the project by not requiring the full site for the village.” Mr. Grylls said.
“We have ended up with an additional 1.3 ha which we have awarded to Finbar to develop high rise apartments and a vibrant blend of cafes, offices and shops.”
The Minister said National Lifestyle Villages was expected to commence construction when the bulk earthworks were completed in mid-2010.
“This project is about quickly building quality, affordable housing options for service workers that suit the local environment and ease the pressure in the rental market.” the Minister said.
“Eligibility criteria and a mechanism for people to register their interest in living in the accommodation village should be released in mid-2010, with the first housing available by Christmas.”
LandCorp is project managing the development process.