Hon Brendon Grylls MLA

Hon Brendon Grylls MLA

Former Minister for Housing; Racing and Gaming

Hon Bill Marmion BE MBA MLA

Hon Bill Marmion BE MBA MLA

Former Minister for State Development; Transport; Innovation

    Affordable housing for Onslow workers

    24/09/2013 12:00 AM
     
    • State Government acts to provide affordable housing in Onslow
    • 12 two-bedroom units to be placed in Onslow for rent to service workers
    • Chalets will be available for rent in January 2014
    • $4.8million project funded by State Government’s Royalties for Regions program
    The State Government has taken action to provide affordable accommodation for workers struggling to cope with rising housing costs in Onslow.
     
    Strong economic growth from resources projects means that the median private rental in the Pilbara coastal town have climbed to $1,800[*]  a week.
     
    The Government has stepped in to address the shortfall by placing 12 semi-furnished two-bedroom, two-bathroom chalets at Discovery Parks Onslow.
     
    Eligible service workers will be able to rent the chalets, starting at $450 a week and available from January 31 next year.
     
    Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said the $4.8million intervention project would be funded by the Liberal National Government’s Royalties for Regions Housing for Workers Program.
     
    The Minister said the project would provide support for business and other organisations in Onslow by helping to ensure that key workers could afford to live in the town.
     
    “Affordable housing is crucial to keep communities and businesses in regional Western Australia sustainable,” he said.
     
    Mr Grylls said the affordable housing initiative was a short-term initiative that went hand in hand with the State Government release of 220 housing lots in Onslow, expected to be released at the end of 2013.
     
    The lots were being developed in a LandCorp residential estate and would have the potential for over 300 dwellings, housing more than 700 people.
     
    Housing Minister Bill Marmion said the increase in population in Onslow was impacting the ability of local businesses to deliver services.
     
    “Retail, hospitality and community services businesses can’t afford to house their employees who earn a moderate income compared with resource sector wages,” Mr Marmion said.
     
    “Service workers and their employers are paying rents in Onslow which are over three times more expensive than the Perth metropolitan area and are not affordable on the median weekly income of $1,466[**] .
     
    “This five-year temporary, but immediate solution has been possible due to the collaboration and contributions of the private sector holiday park operator ‘Discovery Parks,’ and will complement the State Government’s delivery of other planned housing initiatives in the town.”
     
    Onslow has become a strategic hub for gas processing, storage and export with major projects including the $1.5billion BHP Billiton Petroleum Macedon project and the $29billion Chevron Wheatstone project which has an expected operating life of over 20 years.
     
    The resource sector activity is expected to increase the population of Onslow from 700-800 people to 2,200 people by 2016.
     
    The State Government recently conducted a survey in Onslow which found there are service workers in the town who are living in caravan parks and other informal housing arrangements.
     
    Applications are now open until close of business on Wednesday, October 30, 2013.
     
             Fact File
    • The units will be semi-furnished and self-contained. Tenants will have access to fully maintained and landscaped eco-friendly grounds
    • The Department for Regional Development, Department of Housing, Department of State Development and Pilbara Development Commission are involved in the project
    • Further information can be found at http://www.housing.wa.gov.au  or by emailing onslow.kwa@housing.wa.gov.au  
    Regional Development Minister’s office - 6552 5500
    Housing Minister’s office - 6552 6800

     

    [*] Onslow median rent from the Bond Administrator January 1 - June 30, 2013; Onslow median purchase price from sales in the 12 months to June 30, 2013; Perth medians from June quarter 2013 http://www.reiwa.com.au.
    [**] Median Weekly Household Income, Onslow, Census Data 2001.