More land needed in Port Hedland

More land needed in Port Hedland

Posted on Monday, June 04 2012 at 2:35 PM

The lack of affordable housing in the mining towns of Karratha and Port Hedland is killing the prospects of growth in northern Australia, according to John Shipp, director of the ANDEV/IPA North Australia project.

It comes after
Landcorp released just 40 allotments of Crown land in Port Hedland last year.

“Port Hedland is
facing a housing affordability crisis and Land Corp simply isn’t doing enough
to counter it,” Shipp says.

“Karratha and
Port Hedland have an estimated housing shortage of 1531 and 1402 dwellings
respectively and I think that’s a low-ball figure because it doesn’t factor in
latent demand.

“In a town where
housing is in such hot demand and local renters are being forced out of town,
far more Crown land should be released for development.”

As of September
2011, the average three-bedroom house in South Hedland sold for around $700,000
and weekly rent on the same dwelling had grown to $1700 per week. Shipp says
releasing more land would encourage more permanent settlement and less fly-in,
fly-out (FIFO) labour.

“FIFO only makes
sense because it’s cheaper to fly to Karratha than live there,” Shipp says.

“If you want to
encourage permanent settlement and discourage FIFO, start with land release.”

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