A $26.8 million affordable rental housing project in Port Augusta, Roxby Downs, Whyalla, Port Pine and Clare has been made possible thanks to a $5 million Federal Government grant and a strong investment partnership with the State Government and private sector.
In Port Augusta today to make the announcement, Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean said the $5 million Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) grant will leverage more than five times that amount in partnership investment from the Unity Housing Company, the State Government and the community.
"The Federal Government is investing in this leveraged project to provide 100 affordable houses to encourage new and emerging industries to the region," Mr Crean said.
"This project joins the dots between strong partnership investment and delivering a social dividend.
"The houses to be built in Port Augusta, Roxby Downs, Whyalla, Port Pine and Clare will be rented at 75 per cent of the market rate and tenants will only pay half of electricity costs.
"Infrastructure provision and housing construction in regional areas is significantly more expensive than in metropolitan areas and is an inhibitor to regional growth.
"This is part of a strategy to supply new housing and attract tenants who are low to moderate income workers in growth industries, including mining, tourism, agriculture and infrastructure innovation.
"Not only will the housing provide valuable accommodation for new workers, but construction will generate 112 jobs over two years."
Senator for South Australia, Alex Gallacher said the project will make an important contribution to the local community.
"RDAF is already making a significant difference around regional Australia with $150 million distributed to 35 projects through Round One last year including $15.89 million in South Australia," Senator Gallacher said.
"Projects such as the Northern Region Affordable Housing Initiative have been selected because they have leveraged funding and demonstrated clear long-term regional benefits, including jobs and opportunities for the broader region.
"This project will deliver a clear social and economic dividend for the region and will deliver flow-on benefits in industries throughout the economy."
Mr Crean said seven South Australian projects that deliver both economic and social dividends will share in a $27.8 million regional development boost through the $200 million second round of RDAF.
"The seven South Australian projects share in $27.8 million of RDAF grants but leverage a total of $94.5 million in partnership investment between the Federal Government, state and local governments and the private sector. That's more than a 1:3 leverage of Federal Government funds," he said.
"RDAF is more than a regional investment program, it is driving cultural change—demonstrating what is possible when you prioritise, build partnerships and leverage funding from a range of sources.
"I put it bluntly on Q&A recently, but it's nevertheless true—no one government alone can fund the massive demand for infrastructure in this country.
"Such a view inevitably results in buck-passing, inaction and a blame game. The alternative is a partnership between the three levels of government, and where appropriate, the private sector."
More information on RDAF can be found at www.regional.gov.au.
04 July 2012