A $220 million contract has been awarded for work on a major upgrade of the Great Northern Highway through Port Hedland.
However, investors need to go in clear-eyed, with a large number of service worker homes to also be released in the region, announced regional development and lands minister, Brendon Grylls, today.
There will be 125 new service worker homes provided over the next three to six months, along with another 350 that will be built over the six to nine month period. A total of 7,000 new lots have been promised for the next five years.
These initiatives are to tackle the housing shortage and high rents in the area, and investors should consider how these changes will affect their investments.
“Over the next five years, the Government will deliver more than 7,000 new lots through LandCorp, the departments of Housing and Regional Development and Lands, with a further 5,000 in the land development pipeline,” said Mr Grylls.
“However, we recognise there is an immediate need for housing for service workers in the town and the package we’re announcing today will ease this pressure through the delivery of 375 dwellings within the next nine months,” he said.
The new Great Northern Highway project is scheduled for completion in mid-2014, said federal infrastructure and transport minister. Anthony Albanese, and WA transport minister, Troy Buswell.
The work is scheduled to start in late-August this year.
This is a direct result of a 25 per cent increase in traffic in the Port Hedland area over the last three years.
Mr Buswell said the project would deliver important safety enhancements and transport efficiencies at Port Hedland.
“In particular the development of the port’s Utah Point berth and new mines at Abydos, Mt Dove and Phil’s Creek suggest that an additional 360 road trains per day will be seeking access,” he said.
“This project will improve access to the port areas, improve safety for local commuters between Port Hedland and South Hedland and enable the road network to cope with future growth in both the town and region.”
The new project will re-align the Highway between Port Hedland and South Hedland, around the Wedgefield industrial precinct.
“With the Federal Labor Government providing almost three quarters of the funding, this project is recognition of the Pilbara Region’s significance to our nation’s continuing prosperity and is just one of many currently underway across the State,” he said.
The project includes the construction of eight kilometres of single carriageway and the construction of a bridge over the BHP Billiton rail line, leaving allowances for future rail expansion.
Mr Buswell explained that the first 125 dwellings to be introduced to help combat the housing shortage, which is also a result of the area’s growth, would be based on the model of the Warambie Estate Service Workers Village in Karratha.