Nationals plan to ‘fix Withers’

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
South West MLC Colin Holt and Bunbury Nationals candidate James Hayward discuss the party's $21.2 million commitment to an urban renewal project in Withers.
Camera IconSouth West MLC Colin Holt and Bunbury Nationals candidate James Hayward discuss the party's $21.2 million commitment to an urban renewal project in Withers. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

The Nationals have targeted the suburb of Withers with a $21.2 million housing commitment in the latest State Election promise.

Bunbury candidate James Hayward announced on Tuesday the multi-million dollar Urban Renewal Project, which would see plans under an already documented Local Area Plan rolled out in the suburb.

A key priority in the project would be to get the Housing Authority’s social housing stock down from 17 per cent in Withers to under 10 per cent.

“Potentially this suburb is going to be fixed forever,” Mr Hayward said.

“(Public Housing) Concentration is the basis of a lot of social dysfunction that Withers suffers, so the solution is to be able to dilute that and reduce those numbers.”

The ambitious plan would include 40 new houses and upgrades to 25 and would follow in the footsteps of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Housing Authority, Bunbury City Council and South West Development Commission last year.

Labor candidate Don Punch previously said he would make Withers a priority if elected.

While no money has been committed by his party, Mr Punch yesterday said a redevelopment process for Withers was embedded in Labor’s plan for Bunbury.

“We will make sure the department of housing does its job and won’t cost-shift Royalties for Regions to fund core government responsibilities,” Mr Punch said.

“I’m pleased that after eight years of government inaction, the Nationals have followed Labor’s lead and turned their attention to Withers.”

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