THE state government has reaffirmed its commitment to building 50 government homes in Cooktown in just over a year.
A Department of Energy and Works spokesperson said progress was underway, with several projects in construction, and 50 slated for completion by June 2025.
“In Cooktown, significant progress is underway, with several projects under construction and others at the design stage,” they said.
“The department has been successful in securing various land parcels and has commenced the preliminary design phase for these sites.”
The spokesperson said the homes would help attract and retain frontline workers such as doctors, nurses, paramedics, teachers and police, many of whom currently rent privately.
“Building more homes for these essential workers will help reduce pressure on regional and remote rental markets,” they said.
Cook Shire mayor Peter Scott said more government housing would take the pressure off the rental market, and encourage further growth in services.
“We’re excited about the Government’s commitment to build more employee housing,” he told Cape York Weekly.
“It means more work, more people around town, and also an easing to our current housing situation.”
Cr Scott said without additional housing, the long-awaited expansions to Cooktown’s hospital and supermarket were unlikely to happen as there was no accommodation for tradesmen during construction or staff once the larger facilities opened.
“Council is taking the initiative too with our subdivision and releasing about 28 blocks, a number of which were taken up by government employee housing,” he said.
Cr Scott said the council had taken into consideration the lack of land rates on State-owned blocks.
“The government pays water, rubbish and sewerage service charges, but not the land rates, but when you look at your rates notice you will see the land component is comparatively small,” he said.
“We think there is just as much benefit socially and economically by having more people and families coming to town and supporting our services to expand.”