Building Better Regions Fund grants announced - Great Southern and Wheatbelt

7/8/2017

Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson MP has announced the Great Southern and Wheatbelt regions
will receive more than $10 million through the first round of the Building Better Regions Fund.
 
At the centre of the successful projects in O’Connor is a $10 million grant for a regional housing
initiative, which will co-fund the construction of 79 housing units across nine shires in the Great
Southern.
 
In recognition of the economic challenges of providing accommodation units in smaller shires, the
grant will see 43 units for independent seniors and 36 units for regional employees built throughout
the shires of Broomehill-Tambellup, Cranbrook, Gnowangerup, Jerramungup, Katanning, Kent,
Kojonup, Plantagenet and Woodanilling.
 
Meanwhile, the Shire of Williams will receive a grant of $360,000 to redevelop the Lions Park, the
site of a major rest stop servicing people travelling on Albany Highway.
 
The play areas have been designed to be highly visible from Albany Highway in order to encourage
some of the 4000 vehicles that pass the park every day to stop and relax in the town before
continuing on their journey.
 
Mr Wilson said securing funding for the Great Southern Housing Initiative was a great result, as
market conditions in smaller shires meant the commercial return was often insufficient to generate
private investment for new accommodation.
 
“When regional shires are looking to hire employees for workforce gaps that can’t be filled locally,
either in the public or private sector, quality housing is important in attracting skilled people to small
towns,” he said.
 
“The lack of financial return on building new properties, however, limits the incentive for investment
and has created a shortage in suitable accommodation.
 
“I’m really pleased that we’re able to help these shires fill the gap, because ultimately the ability to
retain employees in these areas will support the local economy and ensure the delivery of key
services is not hampered by workforce shortages.
 
“The provision of more seniors’ accommodation is also fantastic for the Great Southern – it reduces
the need for seniors to leave their communities at a later stage in life, which is a very worthwhile
cause.
 
“Redeveloping the Williams Lions Park will also have far-reaching benefits – I’m sure local businesses
will be pleased with the increased number of people stopping in the town, but there’s a safety
component in encouraging people to take a break when commuting between Perth and the Great
Southern.”
Building Better Regions Fund grants announced -  Great Southern and Wheatbelt

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