Bringing home ownership back within reach

Buying your first home should be an exciting milestone – a rite of passage for young adults as they build their future. But for today’s first home buyers, the experience is often loaded more with stress than excitement.

Prices in Cairns have soared as availability dwindles, making it harder for new buyers to get into their own homes. This, combined with low rental vacancy, is driving young people away from our city to find affordable housing elsewhere.

I love Cairns. I was lucky enough to find my place here and call it home. I want others to have the same opportunity to make their lives in our beautiful city.

Team Eden will support first home buyers to settle in Cairns by offering rates relief up to $1000 in their first year of home ownership. The subsidy will be available to up to 300 first-time buyers a year and will be funded by scrapping of some of Unity’s extravagant and unnecessary expenses.

We hope the initiative will give first homeowners a real leg up and provide incentive for young people to build a future and raise their families here in Cairns.

Some of our residents have also been impacted by the recent natural disasters. Recovering and rebuilding is a stressful and costly time for people and, under an Eden-led Council we will waive all Council fees relating to rebuilding people’s homes in areas such as Machans Beach, Holloways Beach, Yorkey’s Knob and Crystal Cascades.

Cairns also needs more housing. The most effective thing a council can do to combat a housing shortage is to make it easier to build more houses. One of our first actions will be to launch an external review of Council’s planning approval processes, so we can see where we can make improvements that will support quality development.

We’ll look for every opportunity to cut red tape and make the process smoother for appropriate housing development to get speedy Council approval.

We know Council’s planning department can be difficult to deal with. It receives more complaints than any other Council department. That’s not necessarily a reflection on staff, but rather a sign of an inefficient and complex planning process.

But that can be fixed. Team Eden will initiate a Development Assessment Customer Journey project through the Queensland Small Business Commissioner. Townsville City Council is one of the success stories to come the program, achieving a 90 per cent reduction in the number of complaints.

We’ll address a lack of Council infrastructure in identified growth areas and release Council-owned land in Edmonton and Babinda for residential development with provisions for affordable and social housing. Plus, we’ll get straight to work on a new planning scheme that includes higher density residential development in the CBD and key growth areas in Smithfield and Edmonton to help keep pace with predicted population growth. I recently met with Advance Cairns Chair Nick Trompf. He shares our concerns around the lack of available residential land and acknowledged higher density residential development is needed to meet increased demand in those key areas.

More housing brings more opportunities for our community to thrive, and offers our young people the chance to be the future of our great city.

Amy Eden, Team Eden Mayoral Candidate, Cairns Regional Council

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Team Eden has a vision for a renewed Cairns and a refreshed Council. Led by experienced Councillor and Mayoral Candidate Amy Eden, we are committed to reshaping our city’s future.

Join us in this transformative journey, and together, we’ll make Cairns a place that inspires, connects, and thrives for all.

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