Blighs affordable housing

THE Bligh Government’s declaration of Urban Development Areas for mining towns could deliver 380 affordable new homes in Blackwater and between 200 and 300 one to four-bedroom dwellings in Moranbah.

“The mining boom has created jobs but it has also put pressure on these communities with houses in short supply,” said Premier Anna Bligh.

Ms Bligh said the UDAs were an important part of the State Government’s regionalisation strategy – creating more opportunities and a better lifestyle in Queensland’s rural and remote regions.

“We are committed to ensuring growth and economic opportunities are shared throughout the state, with new initiatives that support regionalisation and decentralisation,” Ms Bligh said.

Central Highlands Mayor Peter Maguire welcomed the announcement of a UDA in Blackwater.

“This is very good news for Blackwater and the region,” he said.

“We believe that the involvement of the Urban Development Land Authority will help us to attract people to live and work in Blackwater.”

Isaac Regional Council Mayor Cedric Marshall said the 122-hectare UDA in Moranbah would relieve some of the housing stress currently being felt by residents.

 “It will release some of the pressure on the high demand for affordable housing,” he said.

The UDAs will also create more jobs for the region in the construction industry, according to Central Highlands Development Corporation general manager Sandra Hobbs.

“The UDAs will improve lifestyle and lower the cost of living not just in the mining sector but across all sectors,” she said.

Planning Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the declarations would mark the start of the ULDA’s Resource Town Housing Affordability program.

“The ULDA will be responsible for planning and assessing development applications in these areas, and in some instances act as developer,” he said.

“The community will have the opportunity to comment on the plans for development as well as guide the inclusion of parkland, walking and cycling paths and community facilities.”

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