The City of Karratha has put forward plans to develop the vacant land across the Red Earth Arts Precinct into an apartment building to address the city’s housing issue. The proposed $55 million development will include 97 apartments and business spaces. It will also include community facilities, such as a museum, art gallery, indigenous interpretive centre and tourism centre. City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said housing was raised as one of the most important issues in their 2021 annual community survey and annual business climate scorecard. “Whilst housing is not ordinarily a local government issue, the city is determined to do what it can to assist,” he said. “If developed, this project has the potential to not only address the housing issue but further activate the Karratha CBD, create employment opportunities for locals and generate a better financial return that the city currently receives from bank interest.” The City said they have received 70 expressions of interest, mostly from the government and small and medium businesses, and plans to offer 10-year leases on the apartments. They will look towards state and local government loans to help pay parts of the development. The Council will consider feedback at the next council meeting in August and decide whether to proceed with the development.