22/01/2009 - 10:53

State may buy back Ravensthorpe houses

22/01/2009 - 10:53

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Premier Colin Barnett has reportedly indicated the government could buy back some houses in the Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun areas following BHP Billiton's decision yesterday to close its nickel operation.

State may buy back Ravensthorpe houses

Premier Colin Barnett has reportedly indicated the government could buy back some houses in the Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun areas following BHP Billiton's decision yesterday to close its nickel operation.

ABC radio reported Mr Barnett, who is visiting the area along with Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls today, as saying that housing will be a high priority.

"Clearly people will be now in a situation where they can't meet the commitment that have made or they can't meet the repayments or they wish to leave, so I will be looking particularly at that housing issue," Mr Barnett said.

"There may be some options where the government may even be able to re-purchase some property or re-purchase some land."

BHP yesterday announced that it will close its $2.2 billion Ravensthorpe nickel mine indefinitely with some 800 employees and 1000 contractors to be let go.

Around 150 people will be retained to look after the mine should it come back online.

Ravensthorpe shire president Brenda Tilbrook said yesterday the news will cut the region's population by half, and a number of infrastructure projects, including a waste water treatment plant, are now up in the air.

BHP was encouraging its workers to locate to Hopetoun and Ravensthorpe and had helped construct two housing estates catering for over 100 homes.

Shares in BHP were down six cents to $28.60 at 13:10 AEDT.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options