COOK Shire Council says it wants to help ease the pressure on the housing market in Cooktown by releasing extra land.
The council plans to sell three town lots at a public auction next week, and is reviewing its other freehold blocks around the shire.
“We understand the urgent need for more affordable housing options in our community, which is why we’ve been working with stakeholders to identify opportunities and take proactive measures to do whatever is in our power to address these concerns,” mayor Peter Scott said.
“In addition to addressing the housing crisis, the release of these blocks of land to public auction will raise the number of ratepayers and provide funds for council which will be reinvested into local community infrastructure.
“By relinquishing these resources, we are creating new opportunities for private developers and individuals to invest in Cooktown and contribute to the growth of our region.
“Our hope is that all these initiatives will then help attract more families and investors to live and work in Cooktown.”
While the mayor said the Queensland government had committed to building 40 new homes on lots recently purchased by the state, the government was keeping its cards closer to its chest.
“The department can confirm negotiations are currently taking place with council with a view to purchase a number of suitable lots upon which homes would be built to help attract and retain frontline government workers,” a Department of Energy and Public Works spokesman said.
“It would be inappropriate to comment further until these negotiations have been completed.”
However, he reiterated the government’s commitment to invest $519 million to build more than 400 new houses and maintain the more than 3000 existing homes in remote communities.
The three vacant uncleared lots on Boundary Street will be auctioned at the Cooktown RSL Memorial Club on June 3.