Affordable units to house non-mine workers

BHP-Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) says new affordable housing properties in central Queensland will be used to lure non-mining workers to the region.

The company, along with the Isaac Regional Council, has built 16 units in Moranbah and Dysart, south-west of Mackay, for low to medium income earners.

BMA asset president Steve Dumble says given the amount of projects his company has in central Queensland, it needs to ensure the local infrastructure can support the demand for large-scale mining.

“We’ve invested a significant amount of money – $100 million over the last two years in a range of community infrastructure,” he said.

“We’re investing on a number of fronts in spite of the tough economic circumstances at the moment because we have a lot at stake.

“We want to make these towns and central Queensland attractive places to work.”

He says the new units will be available for people not working in the mining industry.

“People who are needed to run day care, to perform emergency services functions, to work in the medical area,” he said.

“Those sort of critical functions that towns like Dysart and Moranbah can’t do without.”

Isaac Mayor Anne Baker says council will now look to secure more corporate funding for further housing developments.

“It’s a moving beast – affordable land and accommodation will always be high on our agenda,” she said.

“We’ll be actively seeking other industry partners to come on board with us and contribute.”

She says the council has made a significant contribution to the project.

“Council’s contribution with this housing project was the land, which is valued at $1.36 million and we also had a further investment of land and feed capital funding of $6.7 million,” she said.

“It’s been a large chunk of money and revenue from council that’s gone into the project but that has been coupled and assisted by BMA.”

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