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Council tackles housing crisis

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MEMBERS of Whitsunday Regional Council attended the Greater Whitsunday Housing Summit, at the Mackay Turf Club, recently.

Mayor Julie Hall and Councillors Jan Clifford, Michelle Wright and Clay Bauman, as well as CEO Warren Bunker and other council staff, all attended the summit, alongside Member for Whitsunday Amanda Camm MP.

The summit, held on Tuesday, August 15, revolved around discussions about opportunities and challenges surrounding the housing crisis.

Members of local government addressed concerns that the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday region face, with the current housing situation.

Amanda Camm MP said attendance on the day demonstrated how hard the housing crisis was hitting.

“To see the breadth and diversity of stakeholders who attended and contributed, demonstrates the housing crisis is having real impacts on workforce attraction,” she said.

“The lack of supply is also pushing more people onto wait lists and there are real affordability issues and housing stress.

“We have local leadership across our community, and we need the State Government to invest.

“The Labor Government’s ongoing announcements and lack of delivery have been disappointing over the last two years.

“We have a $2bn housing investment fund and not one cent has been used to build a home in regional Queensland. We deserve better.”

Mayor Julie Hall said the Housing Summit was a much-needed collaboration to find solutions to address gaps in the current housing system.

“Collaboration is key to unlocking new housing stock, and this summit provides opportunities for public-private partnerships to form, which will be essential to apply for State and Federal funding in the affordable housing space,” Mayor Hall said.

“While council itself is not an accommodation provider, we understand we have a role to play in supporting new housing supply from a facilitation perspective, applying our planning scheme appropriately, incentivising where appropriate, and potentially allocating land for social and affordable housing development.

“The problem is complex and multi-faceted with no quick fixes, but the summit is a starting point, and we will build an action plan with many sub-projects coming out of the summit, where some actions have a short-term focus and others position us strategically for the long-term.”

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