The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, today announced that construction had started on a $63.8 million project to build 97 new houses at Larrakeyah Barracks in Darwin.
“This is a fantastic initiative that will not only increase the numbers of houses on-base at Larrakeyah from 61 to 97, but also will reduce pressure on the tight Darwin housing market,” Mr Snowdon said.
“This land previously accommodated 61 homes, all of which have been removed and recycled, and the redevelopment will now deliver homes for 97 families,” he said.
Mr Snowdon said he was delighted to announce a Territory company had been contracted by Defence Housing Australia to take on the project.
“The Halikos Group is a home grown company that’s been in the Territory since 1987. This is a great illustration of the investment Defence is making in local industry.”
The Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson welcomed the investment.
“This project will employ an estimated 350 to 400 subcontractors, with benefits flowing back to the community.
“With such a large Defence population in Darwin these houses will be a welcome boost in Defence’s housing portfolio and reduce pressure on the private housing market.”
Mr Snowdon said Defence Housing Australia is committed to the quality redevelopment of this site.
“The houses will have a six star energy rating and feature cross flow ventilation, open plan designs, decks and pergolas.
“These houses will provide ADF members and their families with a home built to a six star energy efficiency rating allowing residents to enjoy the tropical Darwinian lifestyle,” Mr Snowdon said.
The houses will all feature four bedrooms and it’s expected the first house will be finished by April next year and the project to be completed by March 2013.
The Larrakeyah redevelopment, which was originally approved by the Public Works Committee in 2010, will also deliver improved civil works, landscaping and a new playground on base.
Additionally, 11 currently vacant houses on Larrakeyah will be upgraded so they can be occupied from July 2011.
A recent review of RAAF Darwin housing by Defence has concluded that as a strategically important Defence base the current land at RAAF Base Darwin should be retained for Defence use.
Mr Snowdon has requested that 8.7Ha [or 24 per cent] of land on RAAF Base Darwin continue to be used for Defence housing.
“I have have directed Defence to look at options for new housing for Defence personnel on that site. A preliminary assessment has determined that about 130 houses can be constructed in the designated area.
“This will help further relieve pressure on housing in Darwin as more Defence personnel will live in on-base housing.”
More detailed planning will be carried out as part of Defence’s annual forecasting process with Defence Housing Australia (DHA), including anticipated costs and funding arrangements.
DHA currently manages approximately 1,570 homes at Durack, Gunn, Darwin, Lyons and RAAF Base Darwin to meet the needs of Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and their families.
Matt Mckeon (Warren Snowdon) 0400 045 999
Maria Billias (Paul Henderson) 0401 119 746
Natalie Cooper (DHA) 0421 040 098