Australian town is inundated with inquiries after offering free land to new residents

Quilpie, a town of 800 people, has received more than 250 inquiries for its housing program

National Weekend Edition /
Oct.October 24, 2021 09:00 AM
Australian town is inundated with inquiries after offering free land to new residents

An aerial of Quilpie (Google Maps)

A small town in the Australian Outback offered free land to draw in new residents. It worked almost too well.

Officials in the rural town of Quilpie, Queensland have been overwhelmed by more than 250 inquiries from as far afield as Britain, India, and Hong Kong, although only Australias or permanent residents are eligible, according to the Associated Press. Quil[pie, home to just 800 people, launched the program two weeks ago,

The Quilpie Shire Council is offering a grant equivalent to $9,400 to anyone who buys land, builds a house there for less than $560,000 and lives in it for at least six months. Quarter-acre blocks of land sell for about $9,400, so the land is effectively free.

“If we could get five new families to the shire, for us that would be a massive success,” said Quilpie Shire Council Chief Executive Justin Hanock. “To see the interest, it was a little overwhelming.”

Hancock conceived of the idea soon after he moved to Quilpie and lived in a retirement village for six months because he couldn’t find any housing. The council’s goal was to boost housing stock, the lack of which has made it hard for local ranchers to fill jobs.

Most interest came from the Queensland capital of Brisbane, about 600 miles east on the coast of the Pacific Ocean.

Towns across the world have turned to similar novel programs to attract residents and boost their economies.

Curtis, Nebraska and Marne, Iowa each offered to give away land to anyone who builds a house there.

Kansas is offering income tax exemptions for people who move to a select 77 counties in the state.

The Pennsylvania town of Monessen, outside Pittsburgh, recently offered to wipe back taxes on any vacant property if a new owner commits to renovating it.

[AP] — Dennis Lynch 





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty, iStock)
    NYC talked about converting hotels into affordable housing. Nothing’s happened yet
    NYC talked about converting hotels into affordable housing. Nothing’s happened yet
    Long Beach (iStock)
    This city now tops San Francisco on unaffordable list
    This city now tops San Francisco on unaffordable list
    Almost half of NYC buildings received either a D or F grade (Getty)
    48% of NYC buildings fail on energy efficiency
    48% of NYC buildings fail on energy efficiency
    Attorney General Letitia James, Tax Equity Now’s Policy Director Martha Stark and Mayor-Elect Eric Adams (Getty)
    Do-or-die: Group files final appeal for property tax reform
    Do-or-die: Group files final appeal for property tax reform
    President Joe Biden (Getty, iStock)
    Biden’s broadband bucks could wire all of NY’s affordable housing
    Biden’s broadband bucks could wire all of NY’s affordable housing
    City law protecting commercial tenants upheld on appeal
    City law protecting commercial tenants upheld on appeal
    City law protecting commercial tenants upheld on appeal
    Council member Kalman Yeger and Council member Robert Cornegy (Getty, New York City Council)
    City Council eyes bringing back tax break for property owners
    City Council eyes bringing back tax break for property owners
    Secratary of the Treasury Janet Yellen (Getty, iStock)
    Treasury Department to ease rent relief backlogs with reallocations
    Treasury Department to ease rent relief backlogs with reallocations
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...