Country towns working to attract key workers, trades people and professionals to their communities were given a boost today when the State Government announced the allocation of $2 million in grants to provide a better standard of housing.
Housing Minister Dr Kim Hames said 33 shire councils were successful in their submissions for grants of at least $50,000 under the housing development incentives program.
The Minister said that as a result of this program, 40 new dwellings would be built in country towns across the State.
“This is great news for the many country towns which have been unable to attract much-needed professionals because of a lack of appropriate housing,” Dr Hames said.
“Often councils are keen to attract these key service providers but they have problems providing a good standard of accommodation.
“This program will act as an incentive, particularly in towns where there is a lack of capital growth and low rental returns.”
The funding was provided through the Regional Development Trust Fund and is being administered by the Country Housing Authority.
Regional Development Minister Hendy Cowan said the new was a direct result of the State Government’s Regional Development Policy.
“The Regional Development Policy sets a clear and comprehensive course for the ongoing economic and social development of regional Western Australia,” Mr Cowan said.
“I am pleased that assistance has been given to all the local governments that made submissions.”
Dr Hames said that with the strongest demand for funding coming from councils wanting facilities for rural medicine professionals, the Ministry of Housing had allocated a third of the grants to the provision of housing for nine doctors, a community health sister and a nursing home administrator.
“Emphasis was also placed on housing for businesses involved in servicing export industries critical to sustaining country towns, with the allocation of 18 grants for this purpose,” he said.
Dr Hames said a total of 33 shires had lodged submissions to construct 64 dwellings.
The following shires receive grants of $50,000 for one house: Boddington, Brookton, Bruce Rock, Chittering, Corrigin, Dalwallinu, Dandaragan, Goomalling, Irwin, Kondinin, Kulin, Laverton, Merredin, Mingenew, Moora, Morawa, Mukinbudin, Mullewa, Nannup, Narembeen, Perenjori, Pingelly, Quairading, Ravensthorpe, Shark Bay, Three Springs, Trayning, Upper Gascoyne, Victoria Plains Westonia, Wickepin, Williams and York.
In addition, a total of $350,000 has been allocated for a doctor’s house in Merredin, two additional houses in Moora to assist businesses, Three Springs for a doctor or community health sister, Perenjjori for a mining company employee and the Shires of Shark Bay and Mullewa for additional dwellings for small and remote communities.
Sandy Gater, Dr Kim Hames office, 9424 7450
Peter Jackson, Hendy Cowan’s office, 9222 8788
Bev Wilcox, Ministry of Housing, 9222 4885