Snowy 2.0 impact yet to be felt

Snowy Valleys Council will put off the next stage of a land development in Tumbarumba for at least a year, amid concerns about a lack of demand for the 21 lots that would be created.

 The real estate boom for the region predicted as part of the $4 billion Snowy 2.0 project hasn’t materialised yet, at least in Tumbarumba, according to a council report tabled last week.

The council has delayed pushing ahead with a residential land development in the town due to a lack of demand.

The council has land available in the Tumbarumba township for about 21 lots at the ‘Snow View Estate’, but won’t push ahead with civil construction works to get the land ready for sale for at least another year.

Tumbarumba council previously developed 45 lots at the estate, over two stages, beginning in 2007.

Earlier this year the council resolved to undertake a business case before deciding whether to push ahead with the third stage.

The council said the rate of sales at the estate were initially strong, before slowing over the past six to 12 months. There’s currently 10 blocks still to be sold from the first two stages, as well as four undeveloped blocks under private ownership. There’s also a couple of houses on the market.

In a detailed report examining when the council should push ahead with the third stage of the estate, the council’s manager of strategy and place Ben Smith said the council was committed to the development, but should time it to align when demand was evident.

The report said Snowy 2.0 had presently had little impact on the Tumbarumba housing market.

“At this stage it could be assumed that more of the property investment is flowing to the Snowy Monaro region, despite the encouragement of Snowy Valleys Council and our community and business partners,” the report stated.

“It is reasonable to assume that the larger Snowy 2 construction contractors (Future Generation and Transgrid) may prefer to locate their executive staff close to the client’s larger offices in Cooma or Sydney, or fly them in and out as required in a similar way to the construction workforce.

“There may also be a greater focus on utilising executive rental properties as opposed to outright purchases to meet a short term need.

“While this may change as we move from the exploratory works stage into the main construction period, there is nothing definitive in the contractors plans outlined to date that points to a spike in demand for the Snow View Estate level land product as a result of Snowy 2.

The report said that when it came to construction workers, it was unlikely that they would be looking to purchase local property given they are likely to be living in temporary worker accommodation that can support a rotating shift roster, and the majority of this is set to be at the construction site.

It is understood that Future Generation intend to accommodate the majority of their construction workforce at  Lob’s hole.

Transgrid are expected to have a similar approach but they are understood to be considering locating part of their workforce in a nearby town through development of temporary worker accommodation.

Transgrid also has a much shorter construction period to manage at approximately 18 months.

“The level of local accommodation required to support their ongoing wider network augmentation program is unclear, but it is likely to be far less than what’s required to establish the new Snowy 2 connections,” the report stated.