Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Critical Summit In Response To Housing Crisis

More than 150 stakeholders in attendance at the Greater Whitsunday Housing Summit last week were presented with a comprehensive schedule of information outlining the multifaceted housing crisis confronting the Greater Whitsunday region.

The aim of the Summit was to seek to develop solutions to the Mackay, Isaac, and Whitsunday regions’ housing issues in line with the priorities identified at the Housing Roundtable in December 2022.

As major event sponsors, Community Bank Sarina Bendigo Bank Director Ann Fordyce said the material presented and discussions highlighted what an “extremely complex dilemma” housing is – both currently and in our region’s future.

“Housing is critical for our economic and community development,” Ms Fordyce said.

“Our population has grown significantly in recent years, and housing and infrastructure has not kept up with the demand.

“With more people moving to the area, additional pressure is being applied to the region’s increasing demand for social and affordable housing.”

The Summit was an initial working step in formulating and implementing solutions that will take into account the many facets of the housing crisis.

“Collaborative solutions are required. This is not a situation where one organisation will be able to provide a complete, all-over solution. There are many important issues to be taken into account and actioned, such as housing availability to all demographics, diversity of choice and the required infrastructure support relative to population growth.

“Finding workable solutions will require buy-in and action from all levels of government, as well as the private sector, because this critical housing issue impacts every aspect of our region’s economic development.

“As a community bank, Community Bank Sarina supports a collaborative approach to identifying solutions to our region’s housing crisis and we look forward to seeing the strategic outcomes.

“We see the next steps being realistic and actionable solutions enabling partnerships to coordinate, promote and facilitate opportunities to increase housing supply, including the delivery of social and affordable housing outcomes.”

Amanda Camm MP, Member for Whitsunday congratulated the Greater Whitsunday Communities for hosting the Housing Summit.

“To see the breadth and diversity of stakeholders who made valuable contributions to the discussions, highlights the real impact the housing crisis is having across community, industry and development sectors in the region,” Ms Camm said.

Ms Camm said it was disappointing that the State Housing Minister was only able to attend the opening.

“And didn’t make time to hear from the locals in the room who clearly outlined the impacts the crisis was having on the region and also provided local solutions that may help alleviate the problem,” she added.

“Until this housing issue is addressed the challenge for all industries will be the challenge of attracting workforce to our region. It is going to take a collaborative, region specific approach to finding a solution.

“The Government must let regional stakeholders drive the response and not just dictate a one size fits all response from Brisbane.

“The Labor Government’s ongoing announcements and lack of delivery have been disappointing over the last two years.

“We have a 2-billion-dollar housing investment fund and not one cent has been used to build a home in regional Queensland.”

Deputy Mayor Karen May, Member for Whitsunday Amanda Camm and Carol Norris, Executive Officer of Greater Whitsunday Communities attending the Greater Whitsunday Housing Summit

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