Australian town ‘giving away free land’ to attract new residents

·2-min read
Quilpie Shire Council is giving free blocks of land to attract homebuyers (Facebook: Quilpie Shire Council)
Quilpie Shire Council is giving free blocks of land to attract homebuyers (Facebook: Quilpie Shire Council)

A town in Australia’s Queensland is giving away free land via government grants in a bid to boost housing.

The town of Quilpie, located about 873km from Brisbane, has around 800 residents and 46-council owned properties. While there are job vacancies, there isn’t enough housing accommodation.

Speaking to news.com.au, Quilpie town authorities said the Quilpie Shire Council is offering $12,500 (over £6,000) to homebuyers who buy land and build homes that are valued less than $750,000 (over £400,000) and continue to live there for at least six months.

“If you’re looking to retire and need an affordable home base for travel, or you’re a young person starting out in your career and getting a foot in the property ladder, you would be hard pressed to find a better deal anywhere in Australia,” Quilpie Shire Council CEO Justin Hancock told news.com.au.

He added: “Depending on the cost of the land chosen, it can equate to us essentially giving land away.”

The town, which is looking to attract the younger demographic, has a host of vacancies including in the National Australian Bank, childcare, and bar work, among others. Authorities said there are opportunities for young people to open new businesses in the town as well.

The town, which remained Covid-free through the pandemic, boasts of “wide open spaces,” according to Mr Hancock.

The outback town is also famous for opal mining and dinosaur bones. According to the mayor Stuart MacKenzie, the idea is to attract professionals to boost housing.

“We need people like this to come work in our region, and yet we don’t have enough housing to accommodate them ... Within Queensland we already have easy scope for people to move out to Quilpie, and we’re confident that interstate borders will re-open and allow freer movements between the States in the months to come,” he said.

However, Quilpie is not the only town encouraging new homebuyers.

Victoria — the second smallest state in the country — is also incentivising homebuyers by reducing the amount of money needed to enter the housing market. According to reports, homebuyers in Victoria will only have to pay 5% of the deposit of a new home, with the Victorian Homebuyer Fund willing to cover a quarter of the cost in exchange for a stake in the property.

This article was amended on 18 October 2021. It previously inaccurately stated that Quilpie was 100km from Brisbane.

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