Hampton mum on Kilgariff suburb

 

ABOVE: The $10m headworks for the Kilgariff suburb well under way but no word yet on the development deal.

 

By ERWIN CHLANDA

 

The NT Government is spending $10m on headworks for the new suburb of Kilgariff, but still hasn’t made up its mind – or won’t tell – how the 1200 block project will be developed.

The usual process for opening up public land for private housing is for the government to call tenders. The winner then puts in the internal services – roads, water, power, sewage, and so on, in accordance with government specifications.

For this development the best guess cost per block is $60,000.

The developer then gets to sell the blocks for whatever he likes – the going rate till recently has been $300,000.

A nice little earner, but no great help for what has been, at least till now, a drastic land shortage and skyrocketing prices.

Robyn Lambley, when successfully campaigning for the seat of Araluen last September, was asked in an interview with the Alice Springs News whether the Kilgariff land should be sold for the development cost.

Ms Lambley said: “That could be an option. Perhaps somewhere in the middle, between market value and the cost of development, is a good place to negotiate.”

The News asked: If it’s somewhere in the middle, who would get the profit which would still be around $100,000 a block?

Ms Lambley said: “It would go into the government coffers. You could argue that the profit could be used for interest free loans to people breaking into the first home owners’ market. That would be a neat little package, really.”

No matter how vital this debate is for the community, it’s not an issue that Karl Hampton, the Minister for Central Australia, will engage in.

The News has been seeking an interview with Mr Hampton since May – no luck.

We caught up with him at the Alice Festival launch last week …

 

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… and with that Mr Hampton, the only Labor MLA and Minister in Central Australia, blended into the crowd.

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  1. Steve Brown
    Posted August 11, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    The Future of Alice Springs hangs in the balance over this development decision. Releasing blocks from Kilgariff onto the market at an affordable price will be the determining factor in decisions made by investors about Alice Springs for years to come.
    It will be the determining factor as whether Alice Springs grows into a substantial civilized community, or dwindles into a dirty little crime riddled back water. Treated like a mining work camp, temporary buildings, no long term investment. That trend has already begun with several firms already opting to fly in, fly out, staff, citing both the cost and availability of accommodation as their main reason for doing so.
    If Alice is not to deteriorate rapidly into the town I have described above, blocks from the new suburb of Kilgariff must be released onto the market, not only at a price that people can afford, but at a price which will be seen by investors as a real incentive to set up here.
    House their staff here. The community of Alice Springs must realize that we are competing against other towns and cities. Yesterday I priced a House in Cairns, by the sea! Four bedrooms, large outdoor area, double lock-up garage, two bathrooms, swimming pool on a 1200 sqm block, for $350.00!
    In the Alice you can only buy a bare block for that! A house much smaller than the previous mentioned will cost you a minimum $250,000 without a pool, to build. So for Alice Springs to compete in the lower cost housing market, we have to be releasing blocks for well under $100,000 or we are simply not in the game. Alice Springs must take whatever steps necessary to achieve this outcome. It is absolutely essential that we do! If it is necessary for either Territory or Local Government to undertake the developer role to achieve this outcome, then they must do so! If they have to do so at a loss, even a heavy one, they must do so! It is absolutely in the interest of the entire community that they do so! Failure to resurrect our housing and accommodation market will see a downward spiral in existing property values that will take your breath away.
    This spiral has already begun! Our building industry is disappearing at an enormous rate!
    Our Kids are voting with their feet, as are many others. We simply must have positive and urgent action by all levels of government on this project, and we must have it now!

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