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Mayor pulls no punches on parliament visit – housing issue is a priority

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South Burnett Regional Council, Media Release, 15 October 2021

South Burnett Regional Council Mayor Brett Otto has hit the ground running on his visit to George Street in Brisbane to meet with Cabinet Ministers.

Mayor Brett Otto and Minister Leanne Enoch.
Photo: South Burnett Regional Council

Mayor Otto said he had good conversations with Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts Leanne Enoch and her colleagues, saying the Minister is committed to a visit to the region.

“Minister Enoch is fully aware of our housing situation here in the South Burnett, as a result of high property demand and a lack of available affordable housing,” Mayor Otto said.

Mayor Otto said he took the opportunity to invite Minister Enoch to the community and his office is liaising with her office to confirm a date.

“It is absolutely vital we continue to work with the government of the day to achieve outcomes for our communities and I know Minister Enoch was grateful for the visit yesterday and she said she would visit our towns, too,” the Mayor said.

The visit comes on the back of the Mayor calling for bipartisan support from all stakeholders to find a solution to the housing issue in his community. As at 30 June this year, there were 72 approved applicants waiting for vacancies in the 233 public housing units in the South Burnett.

It has also been estimated there were between 130 and 150 homeless people in the region, including people couch-surfing, living in cars or sleeping rough.

“I was able to highlight to Minister Enoch our situation as well as committing to her our willingness to be part of the Palaszczuk Government’s four year plan,” Mayor Otto said.

In June, the State Government unveiled its Queensland Housing Strategy Action Plan 2021-2025 which included a $1.9 billion investment over four years and a new $1 billion Housing Investment Fund to increase social housing stock and increase housing and homelessness support across Queensland.

The Mayor reiterated his previous comments, saying the housing issue was a side-effect of the pandemic.

“Queensland has been kept so safe thus far resulting in huge demands for regional housing. There are very few rentals available, and we are actively working as a council to identify opportunities to rectify this.”

For further information Contact Council’s Executive Services team on 1300 789 279, 07 4189 9100 or email info@sbrc.qld.gov.au.

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