The West

The newly-crowned regional small business of the year has blamed red tape for the housing shortage that is threatening to stifle progress in the North West.

The House Factory in Kununurra, which was the overall winner of the GWN7 Regional Small Business Awards, claims it can erect one of its pre-fabricated homes up to nine times faster than it takes authorities to meet their obligations.

Director Kent Osmotherly said it took only 20 days for the company to lay a concrete slab and put together the flat-pack home.

But it took four to six months for relevant building licences, telephone and power connections, energy rating advice and other approvals required for construction.

"Building is the easy bit," he said. "If we can build a house in 20 days, we don't see why it has to take so long for authorities to do their job."

The company was recognised in the Small Business Development Corporation award ceremony on Friday partly for its innovative and eco-friendly technology.

The pre-fabricated panels used in the construction were designed to help control temperature, reducing the need for heating and cooling.

It recently erected 20 four- bedroom dongas with ensuite bathrooms for the Ord Stage 2 workers' camp. Mr Osmotherly said 74 per cent of the company's sub-contractors on that job were indigenous.

Other winners announced on Friday were:


  • Best home based business *: West Coast Trail Bike Safaris, Newlands.

  • Best franchise *: Allied Pickfords, Esperance.

  • Best Aboriginal business *: REFAP (Real Employment for Aboriginal People), Karratha.

  • Business achiever *: Signature Music, Karratha.

  • Micro business *: Out of Sight Tours, Denmark.

  • Best business with five to 10 employees *: The House Factory, Kununurra.

  • Best business with 10 to 20 employees *: ESM Manufacturing Group, Esperance.

The West Australian

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