A BOOST AT HOME
REVEALED: The ambitious plan to bring more people out west
A FIRST home buyers grant could be the next drawcard for young families to live in the Maranoa, after Cr Cameron O’Neil proposed that Council look in to starting a scheme locally.
WITH more than 500 properties for sale throughout the 4455 postcode, one councillor is considering the potential of a first homeowners grant scheme to drive people to invest in the Maranoa.
At last week’s Maranoa Regional Council meeting, Cameron O’Neil proposed a request for an agenda report into a potential grant scheme, which would bring more permanent residents back to Roma and surrounds.
According to Cr O’Neil, the Maranoa region is experiencing a steady population decline from 13,066 in 2011 to 12,666 at the 2016 census. Over the same period the region’s dwellings have increased by approximately 380.
“The idea I’ve put to council has come from the wave we have seen in the increase and the softening of the oil and gas sector,” he said.
Cr O’Neil said he had seen the success of a number of regional based first home-buying initiatives throughout the country that had encouraged people to move to smaller towns and integrate themselves in the community.
“I wanted to look at what we could do, what could we facilitate as a council, I’m not saying necessarily fund, but we might, to have a program in place where people can get a little bit of a leg up to get them in our community and purchase the houses currently for sale,” he said.
“If we get those people in our town, they invest in houses, in the community, they’ll have a family unit around them – it’s about getting them here.”
Council was unanimous in their support for Cr O’Neil’s proposal, which will now progress into forming a report for a future council meeting.
“I’m really pleased that council was unanimous in their support for this, and that shows that we are all committed to growing our community and ensuring that we are sustainable long term,” Cr O’Neil said.
“At the end of the day, it’s about growing our region, and this isn’t just about Roma, it’s the whole Maranoa.”