Westport News - November 2022

  • News

Dear Friends of Westport

It’s been a wet and woolly few months at Westport, with those of you who have arranged to visit Fran onsite over the last few months seeing and experiencing this first hand (last month saw nearly four times the monthly average October rainfall). Like you we look forward to the future when the grounds will be accessible via paths and walkways so that we can enjoy the beautiful surrounds all year.

Despite the inclement weather, interest for Westport continues to be strong, with reservations now accounting for all but one home in Stage 1, and nearly half of the homes in stage 2. This demand continues to encourage us to push our progress toward determining a start date for Westport Estate.

More recently some hurdles have been thrown up by both Melbourne Water and by the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning along the way about issues that we had believed were resolved. Whilst these obstacles are being dealt with appropriately, they are slowing us down a little more than we would like. In truth, it does seem to be two steps forward, one step back!

In the meantime, the international economy faces significant headwinds. Much of Europe is heading into recession, whilst the USA is on the cusp, yet inflation is still running strong off the back of very high energy costs and supply chain challenges.

In Australia inflation is also running high, leading our Reserve Bank to continue pushing up interest rates in an effort to slow the inflationary pressures, whilst acknowledging that the effects of these interest rate rises won’t take hold until some time down the track. Whilst construction costs continue to rise due to the inflation and supply chain woes, house prices are starting to cool and consumer confidence is wavering. We trust the experts will be correct in their estimates that Australia will have a softer landing than many other countries and ultimately avoid a recession.

Where does this leave us?

We still intend to be “construction ready” for the civil works by early next year, assuming we can overcome the Melbourne Water and DELWP road bumps in the coming months. Like all good chicken and egg issues, whilst we continue to work on these issues we can not set in place many other details that we had expected to finalise around this time - in short, until we get further “ticks in boxes” from the various authorities, we can’t formally engage construction companies to finalise details around timing, final pricing and even contract details. Trust us when we say this is just as frustrating to us as it is for you.

That said, once we do have firm starting dates for the Civil works, many other processes will fall into place thereafter, such as being able to then set a start for home construction and, ultimately timing of when the first homes would be available for occupation!

At this point my instinct tells me 2023 may be largely our Civil works and Stage 1 of our Clubhouse reinstatement works, and then we are more likely to have consistent homes being finished and able to be occupied through 2024 and onwards. We will of course continue to keep you in the loop as information comes to hand.

Although we are not at a stage of setting a date, we would like to indicate we intend to hold a social event at Westport early in the new year (when the weather should be better than it is currently!) to bring together those who have reservations - an opportunity to perhaps meet your potential neighbours as well as laying the ground work for a successful village community in the future.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Fran or myself if you have further questions.

Warm Regards

Ben Martens
Managing Director
The Parks Villages Pty Ltd