The cities of Greater Geraldton and Mandurah will use multimillion dollar grants from the federal government to back local infrastructure projects, as part of the plan to support housing development in regional cities.
Under the government’s $112 million Building Better Regional Cities program Geraldton received $9 million to implement infrastructure works to support additional housing in the city.
The City of Mandurah was granted $5.4 million to build a pedestrian bridge designed to span Mandurah road and the railway line.
The City of Greater Geraldton will use the funds to support works in the Karloo and Wandina areas and see the priority release of 400 housing lots by June 2016.
It will use the funds to construct various power, water and sewerage infrastructure to support the the new lots.
The city will also create a more direct route from the airport by connecting Ackland Street in Mount Tarcoola to Abraham Street in Karloo and construct an overpass bridge over the Geraldton-Mount Magnet road.
The infrastructure project is a joint venture between the City of Greater Geraldton and the state government’s Department of Housing.
City of Greater Geraldton mayor Ian Carpenter said the project would deliver at least a decade long supply of affordable housing lots for the Greater Geraldton market.
“This is fantastic news that has come at a very critical time for Geraldton, and I must stress the
positive benefits of partnerships in delivering growth and infrastructure,” Mr Carpenter said.
The grant should ultimately lead to the development and release of 1500 lots with the ability to house 3500 people and the provision of additional infrastructure works which should be in place by mid-2014.
City of Mandurah chief executive Mark Newman told WA Business News that the funding would kick-start a Transit Oriented Development to be located either side of the Mandurah train station.
He said the pedestrian bridge would connect two future developments, Central Park on the east side of the train station and Landcorp's Mandurah Junction on the west side.
"This funding is extremely important as it will assist Mandurah’s TOD to realise its full potential and the pedestrian bridge will help to improve access to Peel TAFE, the Murdoch University campus and John Tonkin College," Mr Newman said.
"Construction (on the bridge) is expected to start next year and be completed in the first half of 2014."
The $9 million grant to Geraldton is the fifth largest amount granted under the program which was available to 46 regional cities across Australia with populations above 30 000.
Geraldton and Mandurah were among 16 regional communities across Australia which shared the $112 million on offer under the program.