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