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Growing pains

THE recent highlighting of a crisis looming for the rental and housing market in Hamilton has not gone unnoticed by the Southern Grampians Shire Council (SGSC).

Anticipating property development and advocating for investment into various infrastructure projects is something SGSC chief executive, Michael Tudball was energetically pursuing, having been actively looking at the future expansion of the town for some time.

He said the shire had been working with the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) to address “population attraction and where regional and rural Australia was going”.

“We're a strategic partner with the RAI,” Mr Tudball said.

“The mayor and I went up to their most recent summit they had in Canberra just a couple of months ago to input both what's happening in our patch, and to hear from others and just see what they're doing.”

The recent paucity of rentals available locally – a situation heightened due to more people working at home during COVID restrictions and seeing the opportunity to move further away from capital cities – is just one problem that needed a solution, with various infrastructure inadequacies also being anticipated.

“COVID probably helped a little bit because we have more people who have found that working remotely – (if) they can do it from two kilometres, they can do it from 200,” Mr Tudball said.

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