17/06/2010 - 00:00

Joint ventures planned to ease land supply concerns

17/06/2010 - 00:00


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HOUSING Minister Bill Marmion is getting set to release a “significant” number of lots in order to ensure adequate short-term land supply for housing.

Joint ventures planned to ease land supply concerns

HOUSING Minister Bill Marmion is getting set to release a “significant” number of lots in order to ensure adequate short-term land supply for housing.

Speaking for the first time as a minister at a property industry function last week, Mr Marmion unveiled a number of initiatives the state government is rolling out to boost housing affordability in Western Australia.

Mr Marmion said the Department of Housing was closely looking at its landholdings to identify what could be brought to market.

“In coming weeks we will be announcing a series of joint ventures with private sector developers to bring thousands of lots onto the market in an orderly fashion, especially at the affordable end of the market,” he said.

“Our aim is to ensure that land supply is catching demand over time, and it’s not designed to flood the market, and not designed to target any median house price.

“I don’t think that I’ll have the ability to flood the market, mainly because of the constraints on getting approvals, that’s going to be the biggest problem.

“But I do want to make sure that I can put a lot of lots on the market to stabilise the price, and I don’t want to find out in two years’ time that because I haven’t done the planning to get lots on the market, suddenly we’re short.”

Mr Marmion said the first joint ventures with “prominent” Western Australian development companies would be announced for government-owned land holdings in: Swan Valley suburbs of Henley Brook and Albion; Brighton in the northern suburbs; Golden Bay, near Secret Harbour; and Keralup, near Mandurah.

“It’s fair to say the ones that I have to concentrate on are the ones that are ready to roll, and the ones that the department thinks that are ready to roll are Henley Brook and Golden Bay,” Mr Marmion told WA Business News.

“Those are the two areas we will be initially focusing on.

“We’ve got another large parcel of land at Keralup and I’ll be looking at how we can bring some of that on as well.”

Another key initiative announced by Mr Marmion was that the state government had brought forward funding for investment in affordable housing.

“With that funding, together with Commonwealth stimulus expenditure, we are building nearly 4,000 dwellings, so in the first two years of our term we will have increased the supply of social housing by more than what was done over the last eight years,” Mr Marmion said.

Also, earlier this month the Mr Marmion announced 559 government-owned social housing dwellings would be transferred to community housing providers over the next six months.

But opposition spokesperson for housing and works, Mark McGowan, was scathing in response to the funding advance.

Mr McGowan claimed the public housing wait list was currently affecting 54,000 Western Australians, and by bringing forward the funding, the Barnett government had effectively abandoned families on the waiting list.

“The federal Labor government also brought forward spending but then added billions in additional public housing expenditure in later years,” he said.

“The Barnett government has brought forward its spending without adding any additional money for new public houses in 2012.

“Under Housing Minister Bill Marmion, the wait time for public housing can only get worse.”



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