Australian Government housing development at Lee Point

The community is losing Lee Point (a treasured Darwin asset) due to a lack of democratic process and transparency.

The public benefit of housing thousands of people at Lee Point needs to be investigated by the (independent) Public Works Committee before further taxpayer funds are invested.

 

Background

The Australian Government is planning on housing thousands of people at Lee Point (approx 30% are defence personnel). This is a major public works project for Darwin with a total cost in the order of $400M.

The Australian Government wholly owns the Lee Point land in question and the developer, Defence Housing Australia (DHA).

City of Darwin council wants a moratorium on the current DHA development until the (independent) NT Planning Commission has completed a comprehensive Area Plan for Lee Point. Less than 15% of northern suburb residents were aware that thousands of people were going to be housed at Lee Point prior to 2020.

 

What assessments are normally carried out for public works by the Australian Government?

In general, all public works undertaken for the Australian Government that are estimated to cost more than $15 million are referred to the (independent) Public Works Committee (PWC) for assessment.

The previous DHA housing development (725 houses) at Lyons/Muirhead was referred to PWC and reported to parliament. This has yet to happen for the current DHA housing development (800 houses) at Lee Point.

 

What assessments/studies on public benefit were undertaken for Lee Point?

To date, no government studies have been published on the benefits of housing thousands of people at Lee Point compared to other suitable locations.

Government completed an Environmental Impact Statement and Assessment Report for this development in 2018. Understandably, these reports focus on the environmental impact in the affected area and not on long-term public benefit. Public benefit or public value is not mentioned in these reports.

Planning for Lee Point has further information.

 

Solomon and NT Senate election

 Candidates in the 2022 Australian Federal Election were asked by FLP; if elected, will you support a moratorium on the current DHA housing development until the Public Works Committee has completed a comprehensive report on its public benefit.

Most want to see the development paused.