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Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Public housing improvements blitzing ahead in Norlane and across Geelong

Joint Media Release with:

  • Richard Marles MP, Member for Corio
  • Richard Wynne MP, Victorian Minister for Housing

The Brumby Government’s $7.4 million Norlane Blitz is delivering more public housing for the people of Norlane and more improvements for Geelong are on the way.

Housing Minister Richard Wynne addressed the Urban Development Institute of Australia in Geelong today on affordable housing and saying the success in Norlane would be followed by $4.7 million for projects from the Commonwealth Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan.

The Norlane Blitz project began in May last year and is well on track to deliver 40 new public housing homes and upgrades to another 30 existing properties.

“The Brumby Government is taking action for communities and our $7.4 million investment in Norlane is delivering new and improved homes and a better place to live,” Mr Wynne said.

“The new homes in Norlane incorporate the latest environmentally sustainable features including a minimum five-star energy efficiency rating. That’s a win for the environment and a win for the tenants through lower energy bills.”

Federal Member for Corio Richard Marles MP foreshadowed more investment in Geelong to improve public housing and the surrounds in other suburbs.

“I am pleased the $4.7 million in funding under the Rudd Government’s Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan will fund a major program of maintenance and upgrades of public housing properties in Geelong over the next year,” Mr Marles said.

“Geelong will benefit with jobs for local builders and tradies as well as in associated industries including building manufacturers and suppliers who help keep the Australian economy ticking over.”

Federal Housing Minister Tanya Plibersek said housing was a strong feature of the Rudd Government’s Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan, as it delivered job security and creation in local building sectors, and also the important social benefit of improved affordable housing for those in need.

“This investment in social housing maintenance will stimulate the building and construction industry and has been estimated to support 15,000 jobs nationally over the next two years,” Ms Plibersek said.

“This is also an investment in improving the places where people live, their homes and their communities.”

Mr Wynne said the success of the Norlane Blitz showed what could be achieved by focussing concerted efforts on a neighbourhood.

“The 40 new homes for Norlane are replacing older properties that are no longer suitable,” Mr Wynne said.

“By the end of June this year, 26 two-bedroom homes, two four-bedroom houses, five two-bedroom older persons units and one one-bedroom older persons unit will be complete.

“To date, 18 of the properties have already been completed and handed over to the local Office of Housing for tenanting, while another 10 homes are planed for completion and handover by the end of May this year.”

The development includes six one-bedroom units with a smaller second bedroom, making them ideal for a single parent with a child or for older people who may have grandchildren sleeping over.

In addition, upgrade work on another 48 public homes; including fencing, paving replacement, internal and external painting, gutter replacement, provision of safety switches and bathroom and kitchen repairs, has been completed.

“The Brumby Government believes every Victorian deserves access to high-quality and affordable housing and the Norlane Blitz is an important part of this,” Mr Wynne said.