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Councils take housing issue to Canberra

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Eliza Berlage, Naracoorte Community News

Leaders from some Limestone Coast councils say they have come away “feeling positive” after a recent meeting with the Federal Government Housing Minister.

The deputation was attended by Tatiara District Council CEO Anne Champness, deputy mayor Cr Liz Goossens, Naracoorte Lucindale Council CEO Trevor Smart and Mayor Erika Vickery. Coorong District Council CEO Bridget Mather was an observer.

Ms Champness said federal member for Barker Tony Pasin helped arrange the meeting – held during the Australian Local Government Association’s National General Assembly from 21-23 June – with Housing Minister Michael Sukkar.

“The minister was well informed about our housing challenges and we discussed the contributing factors and possible responses,” she said. “From our perspective, responses could include changes to the National Housing Infrastructure Facility (NHIF) which would make it more accessible to small/regional councils or help close the finance gap for private developers committing to the development of affordable rental accommodation.

“Another response could be infrastructure funding to support the development of land in our council areas.

“The funding would support the construction of infrastructure, that is, roads, power, water, septic tanks and connection to our Community Wastewater Management scheme, to get allotments ready to be built on.”

Ms Champness said Mr Sukkar advised that the NHIF was currently being reviewed.

“Which is promising,” she said. “We left the meeting encouraged that changes could help facilitate housing outcomes in the region.”

The current vacancy rate for the Naracoorte Lucindale Council area is 0.88 per cent, with 29 properties listed, while in Tatiara District Council it is 0.27 per cent, with four properties listed.

Any rate under three per cent is considered to be a “landlord’s market”.

Naracoorte Community News 14 July 2021

This article appeared in Naracoorte Community News, 14 July 2021.

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