Successful Inverbrackie tender should provide affordable housing

17 Jul 2020

The Federal Government needs to favour a local tender that provides affordable housing when selecting a buyer for the now defunct Inverbrackie detention facility, Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie says.

The NXT MP called on Finance Minister Mathias Cormann to give more weight to a bid that sets aside some of the 81 houses in the abandoned site for low income earners or families fleeing domestic violence.

“Minister Cormann will soon make a decision about who will develop the detention facility which was once a defence housing estate boasting 81 homes, a community hall, day care centre, gym and green space,” Ms Sharkie said.

“Recently I learned that my regional electorate has one of the highest rates of homelessness in South Australia.

“There are 48 people per 10,000 head of population without homes in Mayo compared with 38 per 10,000 across the State and 34 per 10,000 in Adelaide.

“According to a Shelters SA report, the leading cause of homelessness in my area is family violence.

“I can only hope that Minister Cormann will give due consideration to any bid for the Inverbrackie detention centre that provides some affordable housing or offers some scope for the homes to be used to address the lack of accommodation for local families escaping violence.”

The 22ha property is adjacent the Woodside army barracks in the Adelaide Hills.

The homes on the site were built in the 1980s for army personnel.

A change in housing policies within the Defence Department meant most of the dwellings were empty when Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard turned it into a detention facility for asylum seekers in late 2010.

The Labor Government spent about $10m upgrading the site before it was shut down in 2014 by Coalition Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

It was put on the market this year as part of Coalition Government budget cuts.

The deadline for submitting expressions of interest was mid-November.

“I understand at least five developers have indicated an interest in buying the property,” Ms Sharkie said.

“With the spectre of domestic violence hanging over this country, it is also my hope that the Federal Government will end its silence over the future of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.”

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