The little town with the big heart who started an outback land stampede, is once again setting the agenda – with Quilpie Shire Council last night signing off on a significant increase in their Home Owner Grant scheme.
The landmark Quilpie Shire Council funded Home Owner Grant – that created a viral sensation when it was introduced in 2021 – has been increased from $12,500 to $20,000.
Everyone who has already purchased land, and has either built or is in the process of building under the original Home Owner Grant scheme, will still be eligible for the increased $20,000 subsidy.
“Quilpie went viral with our new home owner grant two years ago. The initial grant was $12,500 which matched the price of the blocks of land we were selling at the time. So it meant if purchasers met the criteria of building on their land and living in their new home for at least six months, they could receive the grant and effectively offset the cost of their land,” said Justin Hancock, Quilpie Shire CEO.
“With land valuations rising, and Council benefiting from that, and cost of living and interest rates also rising, we recognised that there was a need to increase our Home Owner Grant in line with this. Even with the rise in value of our land to $25,000 in the Curlew Estate, buying in Quilpie still represents exceptional value – and our new $20,000 grant will cover most of the price of their land if they build and live on it. We believe that this new $20,000 grant is the biggest on offer in Queensland.”
We were the first Council in Outback Queensland to introduce such a policy, and it was a huge success – we had interest from all around Australia as well as globally from the US, India and Ireland. Two years on, we continue to grow our population and have interest in moving to the Outback – especially as the cost of living on the coast and metro areas is really starting to hit hard this year. We’ve recently sold two blocks of land to a Tokyo based University Professor who intends moving his young family and working from Quilpie. It’s exciting to know that our connectivity is going to allow someone to trade the bright lights of Tokyo for the red dirt of the outback,” said Justin Hancock, CEO Quilpie Shire Council.
The original Home Owners Grant saw seven blocks of land sold well as new businesses opening up and existing business expanding in Quilpie.
Within the month Quilpie will also see an increase in the towns housing with two four bedroom houses set to arrive, with a further two expected by June 2023.
The houses will arrive in sections and have been built by the Brisbane based Hoek Modular Homes.
“We’re also the first Council in Outback Queensland to move to the next stage of attracting people to their shire by securing new housing. It’s been a real struggle with material and builder shortages so I’m proud we have houses that are nearly complete and nearly ready to hit the road out to Quilpie and plans for seven houses in two years,” added Justin Hancock.
“Council’s objective has always been to increase our Shire’s population back to 1,000 residents, a target we have dubbed Q1000. Despite the recent baby boom of our existing residents – we’ve had more than ten locally based families welcome babies over the last few months, we still need to see new residents move into our region to help support this goal. The grant in 2021 was one of the initiatives released to support this objective and as a friendly community we look forward to welcoming any new residents into the Shire. With great connectivity and easy access to Brisbane we’re a great spot to be based and do business all over the world,” said Mayor Stuart Mackenzie, Quilpie Shire Council.
In addition to encouraging new land purchase to build in the region, Council also has a $2 million grant through the Queensland Government and is re-developing the Old Works Depot in Quilpie into six 2-3 bed townhouse villas in 2023. A tender to demolish on the site has already been awarded, and the tender for construction will be released this quarter.
With a shire population that is currently around 800, Quilpie is located 1,000km west of Brisbane and has amenities including supermarkets, a butchery, bakery, newsagent, hairdressers, retail shops, a hospital, Medical Centre, Pharmacy, two schools (Prep to Year 10), Early Learning Centre, Community Gym, Sporting ovals, tennis and basketball courts, free swimming pools, weekly flights and an abundance of open space.
Quilpie Shire is also a popular Outback tourist destination renowned for scenic locations such as Hell Hole Gorge, taking a step back in time with Australia’s largest dinosaur at the Eromanga Natural History Museum, Opal fossicking, yabbying, bike and horse riding, fishing, kayaking, sand dune surfing in the desert, seasonal desert wildflowers and a rich local history.
On Friday March 17 the Quilpie Visitor Information Centre took home a silver award at the QANTAS Australian Tourism Awards in the Visitor Information category. Quilpie Visitor Information Centre was up against more than 450 Visitor Information Centres nationally, coming in second after taking out gold as the best Visitor Information Centre in Queensland