Splash in a big ocean

Shadow Minister for Housing and Works, Mr John McGrath, was bewildered that the Minister sought praise for the announcement yesterday of the Government’s new initiative to provide factory built houses to regional and remote areas of WA.

“The program is expected to construct, deliver and install up to 200 factory-built houses for an estimated annual cost of at least $60 million.

“The waiting list for public rentals in WA, just before Christmas, was over 16,500 people. Furthermore, an Australian Institute of Health and Wealth report recently revealed that WA has the greatest number of untenantable public rentals in the country, and yet, the Minister promotes the provision of 200 houses as a remarkable achievement,” Mr McGrath said.

The Minister for Housing and Works announced yesterday that the new scheme would be in addition to a number of other Government housing initiatives.

“The Minister has tried to use this latest scheme to bolster the appearance of the Government’s contribution to solving the housing crisis, however, the terms of the initiative would appear to be quite limited – catering to public service employees in regional and remote areas.

“The housing problem is bigger than that and the State is waiting for the Government to respond meaningfully to that problem,” Mr McGrath said,

“Furthermore, I find it particularly alarming whenever the Government quotes an upper-limit of the benefits to be achieved from a scheme without capping the cost (up to 200 homes; at least $60 million).

“The Minister’s announcement raises a lot of questions to me and I will be looking to the full details of the proposal to ascertain the real costs and benefits of it.”

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