Home' Commercial : Commercial Building and Design 2013 Contents SCOOP Commercial Building & Design 2013 93
SCOOP Commercial Building & Design 2013 93
ust as our capital city is undergoing its
biggest transformation since the 1890s gold
rush, so too are our regions. Town centres
are being revitalised and waterfronts
activated; health, education and leisure
facilities being built or revamped; and high-density
residential developments are on the rise – literally.
With the population of Western Australia
predicted to double over the next 40 years,
growth needs to be managed strategically. There is
currently more than $180 billion worth of projects
either committed or under consideration for the
State during the next few years, set to create more
than 50,000 construction jobs and more than
15,000 permanent jobs. Regional investment is
essential to attracting and directing the increasing
population to live, work, and invest in regional WA.
This will not only develop sustainable regional
communities and provide the much-needed
skilled labour for our resource and agricultural
sectors, but will also reduce the pressure of the
population growth on metropolitan areas.
Through its Royalties for Regions initiative,
the State Government has allocated $355 million
across five years through investment in private
sector residential housing developments, piloting
innovative construction methods, purpose-built
community villages, and assistance to sustain key
community services. Since its launch in December
2008, Royalties for Regions has initiated more than
2500 projects and programs around the State.
The Minister for Regional Development and
Lands, Brendon Grylls, says that Royalties for
Regions is about trying to “right the under-spend”
of many years.
“Our State’s sustainability depends on
continued growth in the agricultural and resource
sectors and getting the skills to make it happen,”
he explains. “This means our regional centres have
to grow at a rate greater than trend, which is why
we are developing all this infrastructure.”
The biggest changes are taking place with
Pilbara Cities, where more than $1 billion has been
allocated to fulfill the vision of building Karratha
and Port Hedland into cities of 50,000 people
by 2035, and Newman to 15,000 people.
Surrounding Pilbara towns, such as Onslow
and Tom Price, will also be developed into more
attractive, sustainable local communities.
Massive resource-driven growth in the Pilbara
has had a direct consequence on the region:
unaffordable housing due to unmet demand;
infrastructure expansion failing to keep pace
with growth; small business decline (partly
due to rising costs); education and health services
below expectations; and inadequate community
services. The sense of community is also in decline,
adversely impacted by fly-in/fly-out (FIFO)
rosters and twelve-hour shifts.
Grylls says that tackling these challenges is
as much about changing mindsets as it is about
building facilities. And that mindset is more likely
Karratha Mulataga boardwalk, as seen across the
mangroves, is a waterfront subdivision of up to 2000
homes, with blocks on the market late in 2013.
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