Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon. Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Applications open for $100 million to support housing in regional Australia

Media release
7 October 2011

Local councils in regional centres across Australia are being invited to apply for Gillard Government funding to support more affordable housing in their communities.

Population and Communities Minister Tony Burke today announced the opening of applications for funding under the Government's Building Better Regional Cities program which will provide local councils with support to alleviate housing supply pressures.

Councils in 47 regional centres have the opportunity to apply for a share in $100 million in funding under the Building Better Regional Cities Program.

"We recognise there are some regional centres were the population and investment is growing, driving new job opportunities but there's not enough affordable housing to keep pace with demand," Mr Burke said.

"Supporting our regions to grow sustainably is key to a sustainable Australia. The Gillard Government is unlocking housing supply so that fly-in fly-out is no longer the only option in communities experiencing record levels of growth.

"That's why we made a $100 million commitment to invest in targeted, local infrastructure projects that support new housing developments in regional cities experiencing housing constraints.

"The Building Better Regional Cities program is about supporting the supply of affordable housing in our growing regional cities, in turn relieving pressure on our major capital cities. It is a key part of the Government's strategy for a sustainable Australia.

"The Gillard Government understands that housing should be a national priority, the Building Better Regional Cities Program is one component of a broader $20 billion commitment aimed at understanding and addressing issues affecting housing affordability in Australia."

Under Building Better Regional Cities, local councils in 47 regional centres are eligible to apply for funding of up to $15 million to invest in local infrastructure projects which support new infill or greenfield housing developments located within those centres.

Under Building Better Regional Cities the types of infrastructure eligible for funding includes:

  • Connecting or trunk infrastructure such as water and sewerage headworks, upgrades or extensions to drains and sewers (including the augmentation or replacement of existing infrastructure, where this is needed to support infill or greenfield housing developments), and connecting roads and bridges; and
  • Community infrastructure such as parklands and open space; community centres, and recreation facilities.

The design of the Building Better Regional Cities Program has been informed by extensive consultation with eligible local governments and other stakeholders.

Applications will close at 4.00pm (AEDT) on Friday 18 November 2011.

Further information is available from the Building Better Regional Cities Program website at


Building Better Regional Cities Program - Eligible Regional Cities

New South Wales:

  • Albury
  • Ballina
  • Bathurst
  • Cessnock
  • Coffs Harbour
  • Dubbo
  • Gosford
  • Lake Macquarie
  • Lismore
  • Maitland
  • Newcastle
  • Nowra
  • Orange
  • Port Macquarie
  • Queanbeyan
  • Tamworth
  • Tweed Heads
  • Wagga Wagga
  • Wollongong
  • Wyong


  • Bundaberg
  • Cairns
  • Gladstone
  • Gold Coast
  • Hervey Bay
  • Mackay
  • Rockhampton
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Toowoomba
  • Townsville


  • Ballarat
  • Bendigo
  • Geelong
  • Mildura
  • Shepparton


  • Traralgon
  • Warrnambool
  • Wodonga

Western Australia:

  • Bunbury
  • Geraldton
  • Kalgoorlie/Boulder
  • Mandurah


  • Burnie
  • Devonport
  • Launceston

South Australia:

  • Mount Gambier

Northern Territory:

  • Palmerston