Media Release by The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP

$112.1 million to help regional working families buy or rent homes

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Simon Crean MP, Minister for Regional Australia, Minister for Regional Development and Local Government, Minister for Arts

Homes will become more affordable for working Australians in 16 regional communities thanks to the Gillard Government’s Building Better Regional Cities program.

Communities from Maitland to Mandurah will receive grants of up to $15 million over three years for local infrastructure projects which support new housing developments, Minister for Housing and Minister for Homelessness Brendan O’Connor said.

“We know that housing shortages are creating challenges in growing regional communities, now and into the future,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Through Building Better Regional Cities, communities will receive funding to help reduce the cost of local infrastructure needed for new housing developments, such as roads, bridges, and water and sewerage works, so that those savings are passed on to home buyers.

“This will increase the supply of affordable homes for sale and rent and help alleviate housing supply pressures in their communities.

The funding will also help councils and developers to invest in community infrastructure, such as parks and open spaces, pedestrian and cycle paths, community centres, and recreation facilities.

Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean said the Building Better Regional Cities investment builds on the Federal Government’s commitment to funding infrastructure.

“There is a massive demand for infrastructure in this country, but no one government alone can do it all. Such a view inevitably results in buck-passing, inaction and a blame game,” he said.

“The alternative is a partnership between the three levels of government, and where appropriate, the private sector. Our Government is paving the way for these strong investment partnerships.

“With the Minerals Resource Rent Tax securing funding for infrastructure, including the Regional Development Australia Fund and the Regional Infrastructure Fund, there will be more opportunities for regions to pursue investment partnerships and get their slice of the action.

“Building Better Regional Cities is part of this Government’s historic commitment to address housing affordability and help people stay connected to their communities. We are building better regional cities for a stronger, more sustainable Australia.”

The Government has invested more than $20 billion in housing and homelessness since coming to office in 2008.

The successful regional cities under the Building Better Regional Cities (BBRC) program:

Regional City Description of Project Australian Government investment
New South Wales
Ballina Wollongbar – development of Sports Fields $4.5 million
Lake Macquarie Wyee – sewer infrastructure $6.3million
Lismore Lismore – Invercauld/Ballina Road intersection and the Oliver Avenue bridge $5 million
Maitland Central Maitland – realignment and upgrade of Athel D’Ombrain Drive $11.3 million
Port Macquarie Thrumster –Sancrox water reservoir at Cowarra State Forest. $3 million
Tamworth Coledale – redevelopment project including road works, lighting and youth facilities. $10.7 million
Tweed Heads Tweed Heads South –intersection works, parks and trunk works for the Homestead at Fraser Drive $8.4 million
Wagga Wagga Forest Hill – roads, recreational elements and sewer works for Brunslea Park $6.3 million
Wollongong West Dapto – road works to open up Urban Release Area. $13.9 million
Wyong Warnervale Town Centre – Water and sewer infrastructure. $4.5 million
Western Australia
Geraldton Karloo/Wandina – roads, bridges and underpasses in the City’s south eastern suburbs to enable the release of land $9 million
Mandurah Mandurah (adjacent to the Train Station) –  Pedestrian bridge to span Mandurah Road and Railway line $5.4 million
Bendigo Huntly – road construction, park and sewer works for Viewpoint Huntly Development Area. $3.9 million
Shepparton Mooroopna West – flood mitigation, drainage and sewer infrastructure. $5.4 million
Warrnambool Dennington North – redevelopment of Coghlans Road. $2.5 million
Hervey Bay Kawungan – construction of trunk road and intersections. $12 million
Total $112.1 million