Thursday, August 31, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Unity The Key To Lessening Critical Housing Crisis

Amidst a nationwide homeless crisis that has taken a crippling toll, the Mackay region is battling a worsening housing struggle. In the wake of the Greater Whitsunday Housing Summit, Regional Development Australia Greater Whitsundays (RDA GW) has emerged as a pioneering force, leading the charge in supporting the Greater Whitsundays Housing Alliance.

Informed by insights from the Urbis Housing Research report and the Urbis Greater Whitsundays Region Housing Playbook, Robert Cocco, CEO of RDA GW, underscores the critical importance of collaborative efforts. He believes that the key to breaking ground in new housing stock lies in forging strong alliances and partnerships between stakeholders.

“A key recommendation within the Whitsundays Region Housing Playbook was for the formation of a Housing Alliance that would see stakeholders commit to tackling the current and future housing challenges and drive a positive set of solutions,” Mr Cocco said.

“This Summit provided an opportunity for those partnerships to form, which will be essential when seeking to apply for State and Federal funding.”

RDA GW will commit $10,000 per annum for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 financial years to support the Housing Alliance operations and resources in-kind.

Greater Whitsunday Communities Executive Officer Carol Norris said the Greater Whitsunday Housing Alliance “offers a tangible chance to unite efforts, amplify impact, and chart a path for comprehensive solutions across the housing spectrum”.

“As a crucial project partner, RDA GW's multi-level policy expertise and financial support guided and shaped the favourable outcome of support for the Housing Alliance at the Summit.

“Their continued commitment to the Housing Alliance will be pivotal to orchestrating the regional action plan.”

Mrs. Norris also acknowledged RDA GW’s involvement in the Summit and Urbis Playbook that helped raise support for the Housing Alliance.

“Greater Whitsunday Communities extends our deep appreciation to RDA GW for their vital financial investment and invaluable in-kind assistance in crafting the Urbis Greater Whitsunday Housing Playbook.”

The Summit addressed key gaps in the region’s housing system, from housing innovations for reduced costs and quicker completion to independent living options for seniors and aged care.

Greater Whitsundays Housing Alliance Chair Malcolm Hull said, “There are numerous housing programs and housing bodies that are all trying to get a better outcome for the housing market and, ultimately, for the consumer”.

“To be able to achieve a lower cost and more efficient house that can be supplied in a reasonable timeframe is the goal of the collective.”

The Summit has been a catalyst for action regarding the housing crisis, but Mr. Hull said, “not all the answers have been found”.

However, he recognised that RDA GW’s “ongoing support has many positive outcomes for all concerned in finding possible answers and solutions to the housing crises facing this region”.

“The contribution and assistance provided by RDA GW was invaluable and very much appreciated,” said Mr. Hull.

For more information on RDA GW’s involvement in the region, visit

Left to right: Chair of Greater Whitsundays Communities Karen May, Greater Whitsunday Communities Executive Officer Carol Norris, State Minister of Housing Hon Meghan Scanlon, Housing Project Officer of Greater Whitsundays Communities Tonia Wilson

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