Spalding facelift launches as $10 million plan announced

Headshot of Elise Van Aken
Elise Van AkenGeraldton Guardian
Contractors working on a unit in Spalding.
Camera IconContractors working on a unit in Spalding. Credit: Elise Van Aken/Geraldton Guardian

Works started on refurbishing boarded-up public housing properties in a Geraldton suburb the same day the Housing Minister visited to announce a $10 million commitment to “revitalise” the area.

John Carey visited Spalding on Tuesday, flanked by Geraldton MLA Lara Dalton, City of Greater Geraldton staff and councillors, Department of Communities employees and other stakeholders, to discuss the pledge and watch works being carried out in an uninhabited housing complex on Bogle Way.

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Workers were taking tiles off roofs, while another property down the road was being prepared for demolition.

The money will be used to refurbish 45 Government-owned homes throughout the suburb so they can be returned to the public housing stock.

Four uninhabited properties are set to be demolished to make way for a new road between Mitchell Street and Bogle Way. The latter is a cul-de-sac with a high concentration of public housing properties and boarded-up homes.

Despite Mr Carey saying Spalding’s high density of public housing led to antisocial behaviour, the housing complex wholly owned by the State will be renovated and returned to public housing stock.

Cr Steve Douglas, Housing Minister John Carey, Geraldton MLA Lara Dalton and Mayor Shane Van Styn at a property in Spalding.
Camera IconCr Steve Douglas, Housing Minister John Carey, Geraldton MLA Lara Dalton and Mayor Shane Van Styn at a property in Spalding. Credit: Elise Van Aken/Geraldton Guardian

“I’m looking at how do I improve these suburbs, but also try and retain as much public housing as I currently can because of demand,” Mr Carey said.

“We could have just come out today and said we’re going to refurbish 45 homes, but this investment also recognises that you have to do good urban planning for liveability...that’s why we’re investing in footpaths and landscaping.

“Normally that’s not the general remit of the Department of Communities...but we recognise it’s also the area, the street and the precinct that’s really important.

“We are moving away from high density towers where there has been antisocial behaviour, but what we also know is when you move to smaller complexes it is easier to manage.”

While there is no set date for the construction to be finished, Mr Carey said his “message to his team” was to “just start”.

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