Jabiru Kabolkmakmen Ltd (Jabiru Kabolkmakmen) is a joint initiative of the NT Government and the traditional owners of Jabiru to undertake the planning for the transition of the town. The focus of Jabiru Kabolkmakmen is the sustainability and economic viability of the town and the region. However, Jabiru Kabolkmakmen relies on the support from the Future of Jabiru MOU Parties to progress works and initiate change in the town. The Director of National Parks, the Jabiru Town Development Authority and Energy Resources of Australia Ltd currently are the decision-makers regarding any private rental housing in Jabiru. Jabiru Kabolkmakmen is working hard to explore a number of proposals to best support the town through the transition from a mining-based economy to a tourism and government services hub. We recognise that equitable access to private rental housing is critical to the economic future of the town.
One of the proposals Jabiru Kabolkmakmen is exploring is the establishment of a new housing entity within Jabiru Kabolkmakmen. This option requires analysis of the economic viability of rental housing in Jabiru being managed solely on a cost recovery basis. The draft document ‘Tenancy Rates for Jabiru’ explores how a proposed new housing entity might eventually structure rent over houses in Jabiru with a view to the rents being consistent across the town and ensuring that rents do not skyrocket during the early period when housing will be in high demand. The range of rents reflects the current and projected cost of maintaining houses of the age and condition typical of the houses in Jabiru. However, the new housing entity has not yet been established and there is no timeframe about when that will occur. Consequently, the scale of rents in that document is for discussion purposes only and should not be distributed as indicating actual rents that will be charged.
Private rental housing in Jabiru is currently provided via Energy Resources of Australia Ltd, which holds the vast majority of non-government subleases over houses. Decisions about the condition and the availability of houses in Jabiru in the future are currently under discussion with the present owners and managers of the town, the Director of National Parks and the Jabiru Town Development Authority.
On 14 August 2020, ERA signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the Future of Jabiru and Kakadu with the Commonwealth, the Northern Territory and the traditional owners. In that MOU, parties put their support behind the Masterplan and Vision developed by the Mirarr traditional owners. One of the key commitments made by ERA is that the company will meet its rehabilitation obligations and work with the other parties to support a “smooth transition for the town with regards to such matters as ERA’s residential workforce, services provided by ERA and ERA’s town assets”. All subleases over ERA assets in Jabiru expire on 30 June 2021. Jabiru Kabolkmakmen understands that ERA is currently preparing a number of private rental houses to have the rectification completed and handed over by that date.
After 30 June 2021, one of the options available is that private rental houses could be managed by the new housing entity proposed by Jabiru Kabolkmakmen, however this is only one of the options. The critical issue still under discussion with the Director and the JTDA is the timing at which private rental housing will be made available. At present, there are no rental houses available. Jabiru Kabolkmakmen is working hard to do everything possible for houses to be made available as early as possible and has been working on this since establishment. There are many organisations seeking houses in the town. Importantly, this includes houses for West Arnhem Regional Council which is planning a significant improvement in the services to the town in accordance with the Masterplan.
The question of rates of rents is far from settled. The key question right now is what houses will be made available and when. We are in the hands of the current lease holders of the houses. Jabiru Kabolkmakmen is continuing to work with ERA and the MOU Parties to understand their planned handover schedule for houses. We expect there will be more information early in the new year.
Jabiru Kabolkmakmen invites individuals, businesses and investors to our office to discuss any concerns related to housing, future leasing, and how they can be supported in the planning for future arrangements.
Jabiru Kabolkmakmen currently maintains a database of all expressions of interest for housing. While no housing is available in the town at present, it is important that individuals and businesses interested in being based in Jabiru during the transition period and beyond should contact Jabiru Kabolkmakmen or go to our website to register their interest.