News update from perthnow…
PREMIER Colin Barnett today unveiled ambitious plans to move more people to the north of the state.
As revealed in The Sunday Times three weeks ago, Mr Barnett wants Karratha and Port Hedland to become major cities under what he has called his Pilbara Cities blueprint.
Royalty for Regions funds would be used to help create the vision – but primarily private investment would be sought to make Mr Barnett’s dream come true.
Federal and local government funding would also be sought to create `vibrant, major cities with high rise apartments, modern schools and retail precincts’.
Major revitalisations of South Hedland, Karratha, Newman, Dampier, Tom Price and Onslow town centres together with plans to create new marinas and waterfronts at Port Hedland, Dampier and Onslow were also proposed.
The Premier said the private sector would play a crucial tole and had already entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Rio Tinto to investigate development opportunities across the Pilbara.
An MOU had been signed between the Government and Rio Tinto to investigate a marina and tourism precinct in Dampier.
“The private sector will play a key role in bringing a range of housing options to the region, including higher density units, apartments and townhouses,’’ Mr Barnett said.
“The types of opportunities soon to be offered range from prime waterfront and town centres sites to super lots or in nearby existing residential estates.
“Increasing density is one way to address the issue of affordability by providing choices such as apartment-style living.’’
Regional Development and Lands Minister Brendon Grylls today announced $30.4 million Royalties for Regions funding for the construction of a village for service workers in Karratha comprising 100 homes to be built by National Lifestyle Villages.
The village would offer rental accommodation at an anticipated $350 to $450 a week for employees in the retail, tourism and general service sectors.