The State Government has announced extra funding of up to $2 million for housing to attract tradespeople and professionals to small and remote regional communities.
Regional Development Minister Hendy Cowan announced details of the program jointly today with Housing Minister Dr Kim Hames.
Mr Cowan said the funding had been provided through the Regional Development Trust Fund and would be administered by the Country Housing Authority.
He said country local governments around the State would be invited to apply for grants of up to $50,000 for each dwelling constructed. The exact amount of the grants would depend on the number of applications received and accepted.
“The new funding is a direct result of the State Government’s Regional Development Policy and will benefit communities by making country towns more attractive to families considering regional employment,” Mr Cowan said.
“The Regional Development Policy sets a clear and comprehensive course for the ongoing economic and social development of regional Western Australia.”
Dr Hames said the program was designed specifically to help country shires and towns attract and retain key community workers.
“Shires are very keen to attract these key service providers but they can often have problems providing a good standard of accommodation,” Dr Hames said.
“There is not a great deal of incentive to build in some towns because of a lack of capital growth and low rental returns.
“These grants will help make such important projects affordable and viable for local shires and their communities.”
The Country Housing Authority will soon invite country local governments to apply for the grants. The closing date for submissions is November 24, 2000 and successful grant recipients should be notified in December.
Dr Hames said the local governments would need to demonstrate their projects would deliver regional development benefits in the short to medium term and preference would be given to housing projects in small and remote communities.
Peter Jackson (Minister Cowan’s office) 9222 8788
Sandy Gater (Minister Hames office) 9424 7450