Land deal is Australian first

Published 11:00am 19 July 2023

Land deal is Australian first
Words by Nick Crockford

Community housing and specialist homelessness providers will be able to lease Council-owned land in Moreton Bay for new housing developments.

Following a unanimous vote at today’s meeting, Mayor Peter Flannery said Council was willing to think outside the box and to help address modern social issues.

“A key to getting new social and affordable housing is availability of land, so Moreton Bay Council today voted to help remove that hurdle by putting our own land on the market,” he said.

“Yes, this is technically the responsibility of the State and Federal Governments, but the current housing crisis is so bad this Council has decided to do everything we can.

“While providing social housing may not be in Council’s usual remit we are left to deal with the resulting regulatory issues, public safety concerns and in extreme cases negative impact on public amenities.

“That’s why we’re taking timely and practical action today. Our aim is to have a couple of sites out for expressions of interest before Christmas, that’s how quickly we want to move.”

The Mayor said there has been “successive failures of government over a number of decades” at the State and Federal level.

Land deal is Australian first

“There are more than 1400 people experiencing homelessness in Moreton Bay right now,” he said.

“In the 2021/22 financial year, Council experienced a 70 per cent increase in the number of people officers engaged with in public spaces sleeping rough.

“In 2022/23, this increased by a further 120 per cent so clearly something has to change, which is why Council is taking a leadership position here rather than sitting on our hands.”

He said changing Community Leasing Policy means “we can let council-owned land that is not needed right now for the purpose of housing development”.

“Today’s unanimous vote will see Moreton Bay create a new lease type specifically for social, affordable and crisis housing land partnerships,” the Mayor said.

“We’re already waiving 100 per cent of all development fees and infrastructure charges in fifteen suburbs, in a radical attempt to incentivise private sector construction of affordable social housing.”

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