Student digs fast-tracked

By Chris Thomson | posted on September 14, 2018

IN A localised version of Kevin Rudd’s 2009 stimulus package that stopped Australia entering recession after the global financial crisis, the area behind York Street’s Alison Hartman Gardens will get an early injection of student housing money to boost the local building industry after the recent collapse of construction firm Tectonics.

In Albany on Tuesday, State regional development minister Alannah MacTiernan said the $16 million student housing project would be a “shot in the arm” for the city’s building sector.

“This could not come at a better time for the Albany economy,” Ms MacTiernan said.

“We know the construction sector is down.

“There has been an unfortunate bankruptcy that occurred here with one of the large building companies [and] that’s had a flow-on effect throughout the subcontracting world in this region.”

She said the 40-bed building would be available to students attending local places of higher learning.

The project will be brought forward by early deployment of a $10.997 State grant.

Advance Housing will start a tender process this month to build the housing at the old Albany Primary School site.

Albany MLA Peter Watson said the project would be a much-needed boost at a time when local “builders, sub-contractors and suppliers are doing it tough”.

“It’s another step to Albany becoming a regional university and education hub that will service students throughout the Great Southern,” he said.

Ms MacTiernan said she hoped the building contract would be let in November, and start this coming summer.