18/01/2011 - 12:20

Grylls launches Hedland housing plans

18/01/2011 - 12:20

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The state government has launched two initiatives to make housing more affordable in the Pilbara, with the relocation of the Port Hedland wastewater treatment plant and the release of 47 hectares of South Hedland land for key worker and indigenous housing

Grylls launches Hedland housing plans

The state government has launched two initiatives to make housing more affordable in the Pilbara, with the relocation of the Port Hedland wastewater treatment plant and the release of 47 hectares of South Hedland land for key worker and indigenous housing.

At Port Hedland, Lands Minister Brendon Grylls announced today a $106 million plan to open up more land for residential development in Port Hedland, with the relocation of the Port Hedland wastewater treatment plant.

Mr Grylls said the freeing up of the 75 hectare site was among the most significant announcements of the government's Pilbara Cities vision.

The relocation project, which could yield up to 2,500 new homes, will be funded through Royalties for Regions and the Water Corporation's capital works program.

"A recent assessment confirmed that housing demand significantly exceeds supply and there was a need to increase supply both in the near future and in the longer term," Mr Grylls said in a statement released today.

"There is no doubt that the relocation of the Port Hedland wastewater treatment plant will, within a relatively short timeframe, open up a major new housing estate.

"This project should have a lasting impact on the cost of housing in the area and the new development is consistent with the State Government's Pilbara Cities framework."

The Port Hedland wastewater treatment facilitiy will be combined with the South Hedland wastewater treatment plant, which is slated to undergo a significant upgrade.

Water Minister Bill marmion said the estimated cost of combining the facilities would be $106 million.

"The Port Hedland land will not be available until after the completion of rehabilitation work, but providing potential developers with this mid-2014 timeframe means development applications within the plant's buffer zone can be approved in the near future, easing a major constraint to developers," Mr Marmion said.

"The corporation's overall plan for wastewater removal and treatment is to upgrade the South Hedland facilities to cater for growth through to the mid-2030s.

"The relocation of the Port Hedland plant provides a practical example of how the corporation has been able to work within the Pilbara Cities framework to open up a sizeable portion of land for housing development right on Port Hedland's doorstep."

Meanwhile in South Hedland, Mr Grylls has announced Foundation Housing, YMCA of Perth and Youth Involvement Council as the preferred proponents to develop 47 hectares of land for affordable key worker and indigenous housing in South Hedland.

Mr Grylls said the land release was aimed to help not-for-profit organisations that have had trouble attracting and retaining staff due to high costs of accommodation.

"We understand there are no quick fixes for addressing housing affordability issues in the Pilbara," Mr Grylls said.

"The current situation is a legacy of decades of under-development of the region, which Royalties for Regions and the Pilbara Cities program are actively addressing.

"Land preparation and development takes time but the government will do its best to ensure the Pilbara Cities program can deliver more land such as this is brought to market as quickly as possible."

Mr Grylls said the release would go a long way to ensuring not-for-profit organisations are able to provide social and community services in South and Port Hedland.

"One of the biggest issues they face is undoubtedly the ability to secure affordable accommodation," he said.

"The aim is to ensure communities can be sustainable in the long-term."

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