mount gambier township
Local builders have been chosen for to build the 13 homes going up in regional SA. Image: Canva.
  • Rockford Homes will construct five houses in Renmark.
  • Empak Homes will build four homes in Mount Gambier.
  • Constructwell will deliver four homes in Port Augusta.

Three builders have been selected to deliver the first batch of 13 homes under the South Australian Government’s Regional Key Worker Housing Scheme.

Comprising Rockford Homes, Empak Homes, and Constructwell, the builders will put homes up across Renmark, Mount Gambier, and Port Augusta.

“The successful builders bring with them local knowledge of their regions as well as trade-bases and are best placed to deliver housing outcomes suited to their communities,” said Minister Nick Champion.

Empak is a third-generation family-owned business, employing 17 people. The builder brings local local experience to the project, having delivered multiple South Australian Housing Authority (SAHA) homes for the Limestone Coast in recent years.

The decision to use local builders was welcomed by City of Mount Gambier Mayor, Lynette Martin.

“We are pleased to see practical outcomes delivered on the ground using the skills and knowledge of a local builder.”

Ensuring certainty of work will also have longer-term benefits, with HIA SA executive director, Stephen Knight noting:

“The addition of new homes in South Australia’s regions will help replenish housing stock and draw key workers to the region.

“It will also provide opportunities for apprentices and trainees, both young men and women who are keen to stay in their hometowns.

“If local building businesses and suppliers can see a consistent pipeline of work ahead, they will have the confidence to invest in their future workforce.”

New homes to welcome residents in 2025

Work is expected to begin on all three sites between early and mid-2024, with essential workers expected to move in during 2025.

The two and three bedroom homes will house essential workers including teachers, police officers, and healthcare workers and help to ease pressure on local housing markets.

“We want our regions to attract key workers and give them a place to live as they provide vital services to the region,” said Minister Champion.

“Providing this new housing not only helps to deliver quality government services in regional South Australia, but it also frees up other housing stock for individuals, and private sector businesses to accommodate their growing workforce needs.”

Once complete, the properties will be leased to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport’s Government Employee Housing (GEH) program, which coordinates housing arrangements for government agency workers in regional South Australia.

As more homes are delivered, the Office for Regional Housing expects to expand its focus on more regional areas.

The news has been warmly welcomed by Member for Stuart, Geoff Brock, who said:

“I’m a keen supporter of our country areas and it’s pleasing to see the Government responding to regional communities’ housing needs.

“My community is growing with expanding industries and jobs, so any housing supply boost to ease pressure on a tight market is warmly welcomed.

“This initiative will not only deliver the homes needed for key workers in our regions, but support local builders and family businesses across the state.”

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