Build it and they will come: KAP says housing ADF personnel in CBD key to its re-vitalisation

Mar 16, 2022

Build it and they will come: KAP says housing ADF personnel in CBD key to its re-vitalisation

Mar 16, 2022

KATTER’S Australia Party (KAP) candidate for Herbert, Clynton Hawks, is calling for the Federal Government to build high-density defence housing in Townsville’s abandoned CBD. 

The housing of troops in the CBD will bring more foot traffic into the heart of Townsville, boosting small businesses’ economic recovery as we start the road to rebuilding our city after two turbulent years, Mr Hawks said. 

Known as the “garrison city,” Townsville is the logical place to house a significant portion of the 20,000 new ADF recruits set to join the service over the next decade. 

“What better way to kill two birds with one stone than by building high-density housing in the desolate CBD, which reportedly has vacancy rate of 70%. 

“Building defence housing in the city will encourage business owners to set up shop in the CBD, returning the once-thriving city block to its former glory. 

“That investment will, in turn, be a signal to other levels of government to chip in with new and innovative projects to bring life back to the heart of the city, with a rejuvenated shopping and tourist precinct leading the charge. 

“Cafés, restaurants, boutiques and speciality stores will be encouraged to set up establishments to cater to a new population of cashed-up military personnel.” 

Mr Hawks has touted the benefits of the free parking in the CBD as a short-term fix to attract residents and visitors to the area, with Townsville City Council later obliging by beginning a trial of 2-hour free parking. 

However, Mr Hawks said the CBD would only thrive if it was able to attract large-scale anchor investors to the CBD with an eye to increasing the number of permanent residents in the area. 

Mr Hawks envisions a dedicated bus routes to both Laverack and the RAAF bases, but says an increased demand for greater public transport capacity through the spine of the city could be the springboard for a successful light rail system proposal, connecting the outer suburbs of Townsville with the stadium precinct, the Strand and the CBD. 

“With renewed calls in the pages of the Bulletin for more life in our CBD, now is a great time to get on the front foot and get proactive about housing our troops.” 

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