A $1.5 billion residential estate for 5400 people in the State’s burgeoning Pilbara region has topped an ambitious new redevelopment agenda announced by the State Government today.
Regional Development and Lands Minister Brendon Grylls and LandCorp chief Ross Holt revealed seven new residential projects for the Pilbara and metropolitan area.
Of those, the flagship development will be the Western Edge residential community in South Hedland, which is expected to create homes for 5400 people and triple the size of the mining town.
The project, which covers 226ha, is expected to generate 2300 affordable dwellings and offer 38ha of open space, including parks and WAFL-grade football fields.
To be built in partnership with a private developer, the five to seven-year project also includes provision for a commercial centre, health campus, university, school and retirement village.
Challenging LandCorp to an 18-month turnaround for first titles to be issued, Mr Grylls said South Hedland was experiencing the most difficult housing stress of anywhere in WA.
He said overnight rental increases to $3000 a week, prompting bidding wars between resource and construction companies for worker accommodation, was unsustainable.
Mr Grylls also flagged further reforms by the Government to put a floor on rentals in the area.
“At some point, and this announcement today starts to head us in that direction, there will be a tipping point,” he said.
“The Government is very determined to use every tool at our disposal to better manage those out of control rents.
“If you’re a contractor that’s prepared to pay $3500 a week I wouldn’t be locking it in for too long.”
Expressions of interest for Western Edge close on August 30.
Mr Holt said LandCorp was aware that “speed to market is key” and expected to lock in a preferred developer within three months.
However, the project needed to be quality in order to keep fly-in, fly-out workers to live in the area.
Details of other LandCorp projects announced today include expressions of interest for a 40-dwelling housing site at Baynton West in Karratha.
Another five infill opportunities will be in the metropolitan area covering two projects, including a 500-dwelling proposal, in Coogee, the development of the 4.1ha former Blackmore Primary School in Girrawheen and 10ha former Craigie High School site.
Minim Cove in Mosman Park will also be expanded, with plans for another 26 lots.
Mr Grylls said with 1500 people coming to WA a week, it was a major challenge catering for the demands of a rapidly growing population.