Hancock predicts housing hot spots

IF THE CAP FITS: Gina Rinehart decks Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson out in a company cap on Saturday. cont
IF THE CAP FITS: Gina Rinehart decks Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson out in a company cap on Saturday. cont

EMERALD could become a Hancock Coal housing hot spot, if workers chose to move to a town with better services and facilities than Alpha can offer.

A study done for Hancock’s Environmental Impact Statement, released on Saturday, reveals the company does not expect its project to impact significantly on Emerald but it does recognise the liveability factor may sway a percentage of its workforce.

The Alpha Coal Project could bring a new wave of mining service industries to Emerald where council has ample industrial zoned land for development, but the flip side is market speculators could drive up housing prices.

“In its current form, the project is not expected to significantly increase population in Emerald,” the EIS says.

“However, this could change if people choose to move closer to the project site and see Emerald as a good option because of the facilities and services available.”

Clermont’s chances of attracting a share of the project’s workforce would be improved if the Alpha-Clermont Road was upgraded.

The sleepy real estate hollow of Alpha has been awakened as property speculators and investors move to cash in early on the town’s predicted boom.

Limited supply is expected to push up purchase prices and rentals. Short-term accommodation for consultants and contractors servicing the Alpha Coal Project is predicted to come at a market premium.

Barcaldine Regional Council auctioned 10 town blocks in May for an average price of $111,000 plus GST.

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