The Labor Government’s proposed use for the COVID quarantine facility in Bullsbrook will do little to address the worker and housing shortages across Western Australia.
Under the government’s proposed pilot program, the $200 million federally-funded facility would be used for short-term accommodation for interstate and overseas workers and their families.
“This program will not do anything to significantly address the shortage of accommodation and labour in regional Western Australia,” said Shadow Housing Minister Steve Martin MLC.
“Bullsbrook is only a 40-minute drive from the Perth CBD. The shortage in accommodation options is being felt the hardest a lot further out than that.
“The housing and worker shortages do not end at Neaves Road.”
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restriction of Western Australian borders, regional centres have been calling for more support to attract essential workers.
One of the key reasons behind the lack of staff is a lack of accommodation.
“For over two years regional centres have been crying out for help to attract and retain workers, but their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
“Without viable accommodation options, there is no incentives for skilled workers to re-locate to regional Western Australia.
“What is the Government’s solution for accommodation shortages in Broome or Esperance? Or in Busselton and Albany? These towns all have a rental vacancy rate of less than 1% and are nowhere near Bullsbrook.
“The government cannot say they are helping to ease the worker and accommodation shortage if this is the best solution they can come up with.
“This Labor Government need to get serious about addressing the housing crisis once and for all and come up with viable solutions that solve accommodation shortages across the whole of regional Western Australia – not just 40 minutes out of the CBD.”