Rebate incentive to build offered

Wakefield councillor Malcolm May with one of the vacant blocks of land in Balaklava, like many across the council area he hoped to see houses built on. Photo: Jarrad Delaney 405903_01
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Wakefield Regional Council is aiming to entice more housing to be built across the district through a rate rebate for residential dwellings built during the next three financial years.

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At its April meeting, the council supported a motion to provide a 50 per cent rebate for general rates, excluding service charges, over three years for the first 50 residential dwellings built in the council area from 2024/25 to 2026/27.

This excludes dwellings within the Seabreeze Estate at Port Wakefield and the planned development on Gwy Terrace in Balaklava, which had their own previous resolutions.

Councillor Malcolm May put the motion to the council, pushing it as a strategy to encourage people to live in the community.

Mr May said the council had its Wakefield 2030 Plan in place, which has population growth targets to meet.

This includes a population growth of 10 per cent by 2030, as well as an increase in the number and value of new development approvals to 500 new homes, valued at $90 million.

“In there we had to get up to 50 houses built in our whole Wakefield Plains community a year, at the moment it’s only approximately 20 per year being built, so we’ve got to improve,” he said.

Mr May pushed the motion as an additional attractive point of difference to encourage people to build in the region, and in turn live and work in the region.

Businesses across Wakefield have expressed a need to gain more skilled workers to fill positions, with one major hurdle being available housing.

Mr May said there was a lot that was attractive about Wakefield, but there just needed to be that incentive to get people building on vacant blocks of land across the council area.

He said despite the council losing some income from the rebates, the long term gain was great as the council would receive rates from those properties for years to come.

“What it boils down to is because we’re close to Adelaide, it’s a perfect spot to live and we’ve got facilities like schools, doctors, sporting facilities, we just need people because there’s jobs here, schools, aged care and value adding businesses close by in the community such as the hay industry and the pork industry,” he said.

“Council has to be a leader in its vision for the community, and its vision of growth, with people living here, businesses, job opportunities etc.

“We’ve got to be positive, show a vision for the future.”

At the council meeting, councillor Peter Bowyer said he was supportive of the motion, there were many dynamics at work to get growth going, but it was important to make a step forward.

“I’ve just come back from three weeks around the northern area of New South Wales and, you get a shock when you go up there because, the towns are huge, the road networks are huge, there’s people everywhere, the infrastructure, a lot of these councils’ infrastructure is unbelievably good, because they’ve got the population to do it,” he said.

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