Push for affordable housing in mining communities

23 February, 2022

There has been a recent push for affordable housing in mining communities. The Australian Mining Cities Alliance has highlighted affordability barriers in mining cities and towns across Australia. This is a part of the next phase in their campaign, More Than Mining. 

The More Than Mining Campaign is a push to incentivise regional relocation.

They are advising the government to create a regional tax incentive. The aim is to drive regional relocation, slow population churn and smooth out the volatility of house prices.

Mining companies have the power to influence housing demand resulting in economic swings. Mining cities and towns need the Australian Government to remove inequities. Particularly in its application of Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) concessions.

AMCA chair and Deputy Mayor of the Mt Isa City Council Phil Barwick committed the organisation’s ongoing support for the campaign.

“The More Than Mining initiative offers a practical and meaningful solution that would level the playing field for ordinary people in these communities,” he said.

“I urge all elected Parliamentary Members and Senators to support resource communities by having a very close look at this simple low-cost fix of the FBT arrangements. It will make a real economy boosting change to support our residents whose housing costs are impacted by the mining industry.”

The campaign is primarily to support the key workers. These are the residents who don’t work in the mines, but service the economic and social needs of the mine. They are the unsupported back bone of the mining communities. There is a need for affordable housing in mining communities.

Residents in regional mining communities receive less incentives to pay for housing than companies who operate in these towns.

The committee is not pushing for mining company’s incentives with the regional towns to be revoked. However, they would like to see the same benefits extended to individual residents. 

The article is an extract from Australian Mining.