ABOVE: The $10m headworks for the Kilgariff suburb well under way but no word yet on the development deal.
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.
The best guess for this development 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 the – at least then – drastic land shortage and the 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 ...
The site of the former Melanka hostel in Todd Street is on the market again, for an asking price of $7.5m plus GST, this time complete with an exceptional development permit for a five storey "tourist and residential complex".
The land was bought in 2006 for $6.12m. The hostel was still in place but has been demolished since.
The land's unimproved capital value in July, 2009 was $4.5m.
The raising of the height limit from three storeys to five was opposed by some sections of the community.
L J Hooker's Doug Fraser says the fresh advertising of the property has only just started, and although there have been a couple of enquiries, it's likely to take some time for a sale to be achieved.
Mr Fraser said in June that the developer, Christian Ainsworth, a member of the poker machines dynasty, had commissioned Deloittes to assist in the development and that "the building costs will need to come down".
The total area is 1.3 hectares and "architectural plans will be passing with the sale," says the promotion.
The agency says this is a "prime corner allotment with three street frontages and adjoining parcel at rear ... and numerous fully established trees on site".