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More housing for more workers in Ararat


The Victorian Government is backing more housing for more workers to help the Ararat community meet demand as the region grows.

Works are underway on the Ararat East Development Zone and new workers have move to Ararat as part of a resettlement program. Both initiatives are being supported through a total $1.88 million investment from the Regional Workforce Pilots.

Ararat is one of four sites across the state to benefit from the pilots, designed to test solutions to workforce shortages that threaten economic recovery and growth.  A lack of housing is a key driver of shortages, with Ararat rental vacancies falling from 1.5 per cent in March 2020 to 0.3 per cent in February this year.

In the past two years, the region’s job vacancies rose 123 per cent. The Pilot initiatives are well underway with the $1.25 million Ararat East Development Zone works enabling the creation of homes for up to 317 people.

The Government has provided $950,000 towards the project with Ararat Rural City Council contributing $300,000. The project is set to support 134 jobs during construction of lights, footpaths and sewage connections.

Ararat has also recently welcomed two new workers through the $650,000 resettlement program – a partnership between Ararat Rural City Council and the Wyndham Community and Education Centre to support new migrants by connecting them with community services, housing, and local employers.

A coordinator role has also been developed thanks to $281,000 funding from the Government. This role will provide local support, oversight and coordination for the resettlement program and other identified initiatives.

The Pilots support other existing Victorian Government investments designed to create more jobs and attract more workers to the region, including the Opportunities Pyrenees, Ararat and Northern Grampians (OPAN) project.

The Government has invested $550,000 through the Central Highlands Regional Partnership to deliver the project, which involves mapping existing and future housing and skills shortages to support business needs.

Through the Regional Infrastructure Fund the Government is also investing $300,000 for trunk infrastructure and sewer works for the Transitional Worker Housing Project, which will provide homes for up to 45 workers each year.

In nearby Stawell, the Regional Infrastructure Fund supported the Sloane Street Housing Project with $500,000 for the development of essential infrastructure to enable construction of more than 100 homes.

The initiatives build on the Government’s historic $5.3 billion Big Housing Build to construct more than 12,000 new secure and modern, social and affordable homes throughout the state – with $1.25 billion being invested in regional Victoria.

For more information visit Regional Workforce Pilots.

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