14 September 2023
Hon. MAJ SCANLON (Gaven—ALP) (Minister for Housing) (10.20 am): When I was sworn in as housing minister I made a commitment to travel around the state and listen to people with a lived experience of homelessness, our hardworking frontline housing staff and specialist homelessness services. They have spoken to me about the demand for not just social housing but also wraparound support. This was echoed during our Gold Coast community cabinet. We have listened to those calls and we are responding.
Last week I joined the Deputy Premier to announce two big projects. After conducting a statewide land audit following the Housing Summit, we are creating a new housing precinct in the Southport Priority Development Area. The first stage of this project will feature a supportive housing development called the West Tower, which could include up to 150 homes. Occupants will have access to wraparound services that could include on-site health as well as employment support to transition from social assisted living to independent living. We have listened to specialist homelessness services, which is why we have moved forward with this supportive housing proposal.
That news has been welcomed by leaders in the field. On Friday, Maria Leebeek, the chairperson
of the Gold Coast Homelessness Network, said—
"It is great to see the diverse range of housing needs being supported by the Queensland Government."
She said that this will be a game changer for the people they see on the Gold Coast. Her organisation stated that for people who are experiencing chronic homelessness this model of housing is vital and will make a significant contribution. I am pleased to advise the House that planning is now underway for this supportive accommodation site and site preparation works have already started. Additionally, next month my department will go out to tender for a provider that will provide valuable input to the process.
The second project announced last week was at Lumina within the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct. Depending on the final mix of housing types proposed, it is expected this opportunity could deliver about 500 units, providing accommodation to more than 1,000 people. That means homes for potentially essential workers or students close to where they work or study.
It is a priority of mine and of this government to listen to people on the ground, which is why today we are also announcing that expressions of interest will open today for the Gold Coast community forum. Despite what the hoping-to-be LNP candidate for Burleigh may say, listening to the community is not a Marxist takeover; it is just good government. I look forward to working with the community to deliver more outcomes such as those housing projects for one of the fastest growing areas in the country.