Housing Minister Brendan O’Connor, Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean and Member for Page Janelle Saffin have announced funding for Lismore and Ballina under the Australian Government’s Building Better Regional Cities program.

Lismore City Council will receive a $5 million grant and Ballina Shire Council a grant of $4.5 million for local infrastructure projects to support new housing developments, Mr O’Connor said.

Ballina will use its $4.5 million BBRC grant towards the construction of the Wollongbar Sports fields which will incorporate AFL, rugby, cricket, tennis and netball facilities. The fields will service the Wollongbar Urban Expansion Area which will provide housing for approximately 2500 people.

“We know that housing shortages are creating challenges in growing regional communities, now and into the future,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Through Building Better Regional Cities, 16 communities across Australia will receive funding to help reduce the cost of local infrastructure needed for new housing developments, such as roads, bridges, water and sewerage works, parks and community centres, so that those savings are passed on to home buyers.”

Ms Saffin said the Government wants to see these communities grow and is working with local councils and developers to deliver more affordable homes for low and middle income families.

“The Building Better Regional Cities (BBRC) funding will help Lismore City Council with the construction of the Invercauld/Ballina Road intersection roundabout and the Oliver Avenue bridge and link road connection,” she said.

“The infrastructure costs for housing developments borne by developers and local councils can push up the price of new homes.

“Lismore City and Ballina Shire will benefit by receiving funding for these infrastructure projects that support new housing developments. This will increase the number of affordable homes available for sale and rent and help alleviate housing supply pressures in Page.”