Queensland

Queensland Government to fast-track housing development in mining towns

THE Queensland Government last week announced it take "decisive action to end the housing crisis in the state's mining towns, by fast-tracking land releases for housing development and freeing up land held by the Urban Land Development Authority (ULDA).

Premier Campbell Newman said there would be no more fiddling around the edges of the problem as Labor had done, adding that "we want real impact and we want it fast."

Initial action will accelerate delivery of more than a thousand land allotments in Moranbah and Blackwater.

However, this process will expand to other central Queensland towns, Mackay, the Darling Downs, Burnett and Central Queensland coasts, Cairns and Mt Isa.

The Premier said the government had set a new direction for the ULDA, which was being merged into Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney's Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning.

"Under the previous government, the ULDA's activity was focussed on delivering housing at the low end of the market and was limited to small releases at a time," Mr Newman said.

"This will be totally turned around, where appropriate. Land held in Urban Development Areas by the ULDA will be released to the market for housing development.

"There has been obvious market failure in towns like Moranbah and Blackwater where there is an inadequate supply of land and therefore of affordable housing.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said his Department would spend $15 million over the next nine months to deliver 185 housing allotments in Moranbah and Blackwater, with the land to be made available by next March.

Mr Seeney said he has also tasked the ULDA transition team to work closely with Isaac Regional Council to assist it in the early delivery of its Belyando Estate which will deliver 1000 lots to the market.

"Secondly, I have tasked my department and ULDA team to collaborate with Western Downs and Maranoa Regional Councils and the Gladstone Regional Council to identify projects that they can accelerate to deliver housing more quickly in the Surat Basin and Gladstone respectively," Mr Seeney said.

The Premier said the government was also conscious that there were other issues being experienced in regional and resource centres which were impacting on the delivery of housing.

"We will work with local councils to identify roadblocks which are preventing housing outcomes as well as opportunities or actions that can deliver early 'on the ground outcomes' in key specific towns," Mr Newman said.

The initiative will include a series of workshops in 11 regional centres across Queensland which will provide the team with the chance to talk to people on the ground that are involved in the delivery of housing who know the issues and also the potential opportunities.

These workshops, to be held in the coming weeks, will inform the preparation of a Resource and Regional Town Action Plan for government consideration by December 2012.

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