Federal member for Kennedy Bob Katter says he can reduce the cost of blocks of land in mining towns to as little as $25 000, and put a stop to rising rent and house prices in Queensland.
Katter said that under his scheme, restrictions placed on land subdivisions by the government would be abolished, helping to ‘open up the land.’
“… the price of land has got nothing to do with anything else except the restrictions placed upon land subdivisions by government. Remove those restrictions and I can give you housing prices that you can only dream of,” he told Queensland Mining and Energy Bulletin.
“We sold land in 1990 in Charters Towers for $6000 a block, and any time the price went over $6000 we’d just dump another 20 or 30 blocks on to the market. When that power was taken away from the local Mines Department, that price shot up to $126,000 for a housing block in Charters Towers.”
Katter said the plan would see blocks of land selling for $25 000 to $30 000, with subdivisions made easy by the use of fabricated homes. He said infrastructure required such as water supplies, sewerage systems and roads would use the 20% return from the Royalties for Regions scheme.
However, Katter did concede that people might have to contend with living farther away from the water.
“The wives that demand that they want to live on the coast, they will look very stupid, to pass up three quarters of a hectare, your own little kingdom where you can have a pony walking around the backyard, or fruit trees, or you know, kangaroos, if you like pet kangaroos, or whatever.”
Katter also hit out at recent comments by Queensland Premier Campbell Newman hinting at winding back FIFO.
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Katter said.
Earlier this month the Queensland Government released an action plan to tackle the housing affordability crisis in mining regions.
The Regional and Resource Towns Action Plan includes a range of initiatives and on the ground projects to be undertaken in the next 12 – 24 months in response to specific circumstances being experienced by communities in Queensland.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the document outlined how state and local government can work together to ease land supply and housing problems facing our resource communities.
“Major planning reform is underway across the state, including the preparation of regional plans for Western Downs, Central Queensland and Cape York, but the pressures in some regional and resource communities means that more immediate action is necessary,” Seeney said.
Seeney said the actions for improvement will developing vacant state land for an affordable housing project in Chinchilla, investigating a potential priority development area in Blackwater, work with Mackay Regional Council on a potential demonstration project in Mackay and undertake a pilot project with Gladstone Regional Council for inclusion of housing diversity in the new planning scheme.
Rising house prices have been plaguing Queensland's resources regions for several years now, an unwelcome side effect of booming mining investment.
A new report examining the impacts FIFO and DIDO has on the community was released last month exposing the downsides of using a transient workforce.
The report found that an influx of temporary workers is creating housing shortages, driving up prices, and straining public services.