A massive hostel has been speedily assembled on the southern outskirts of Katherine.
The critical shortage of accommodation for construction workers at Tindal RAAF Base has led to construction of the hostel comprising 120 demountables.
An unused immigration camp has been relocated from Darwin, on land zoned for a caravan park on the corner of Zimmin Drive and the Victoria Highway.
Trepang Services Pty Ltd from Darwin operated an Immigration Accommodation Facility at Darwin Airport comprising pre-fabricated ‘modular transportable units’ for which the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs no longer needs.
“We specialise in the provision of long and short-term accommodation for large groups, Fly in Fly out workforces and government personnel,” Trepang says.
The owner of the land is listed as T. Downes Nominees Pty Ltd who would lease part of the Victoria Highway land to Trepang for two years with further options for eight years.
Trepang Services has made a development application to dismantle the Darwin Airport facility and relocate the accommodation modules to Katherine.
The land was last used for a temporary workers camp for construction of the Alice Springs to Darwin railway in 2001.
The development comprises 120 accommodation modules arranged in a double-storey clusters with a mess building.
“Covered walkways will link the building clusters and the mess,” planning documents state.
The development comprises 120 bedrooms with a requirement for 40 car parking spaces.
“The need for a temporary construction workers; hostel stems from the current and planned developments at RAAF Tindal and the general growth prospects in Katherine,” planning documents state.
“Much of the construction workforce will come from outside the Katherine area and, with respect to the Tindal development, not all will stay in the accommodation facility planned by Defence.
“Hostel accommodation will minimise the impact on the availability of housing for the general community in the area and tourism accommodation.”
There are already plans to build a workers’ hostel for NT Energy in Fourth Street, at the back of the Beagle Motel.
NT Energy has won some of the half billion dollar upgrade work at the Tindal RAAF Base.
The value of the hostel project is listed as $985,000.
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