KORUMBURRA has been discovered and you can expect a jump in the town’s population over the next decade.
That’s the message that can be gleaned from a public presentation to the South Gippsland Shire Council last week by the managing director and founder of iCUE Smart Homes, Colin Ure.
As an initial investment, the firm is building 12 of its compact-size, innovatively-designed smart homes as part of a much larger plan to build 5000 such home units across the state, all of them to be included in an energy generation group, producing income for the home owners.
How many of the 5000 homes will be built in Korumburra will be the outcome of supply and demand but Mr Ure and the firm’s marketing manager, Litsa Barberoglou, expect Korumburra to be extremely attractive to people looking to sell up, downsize and move out of the city to the country to live in a home without energy costs.
“Our first homes in Gippsland will be built in Korumburra,” Mr Ure said.
“But it’s not just about homes, it’s about people and communities.”
He said the 5000 essentially pre-fabricated, seven-star rated homes would be included in an energy-generation project selling excess power back to the grid while eliminating home energy costs and employing a whole range of environmentally friendly design features and functions.
“We’d like to set up a sales office and manufacturing plant here,” he said.
Mrs Barberoglou was effusive in her praise for what Korumburra had to offer, a delightfully situated, vibrant town, close to the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
She said the expected huge influx of people into Melbourne over the next decade would be a turn-off for many people and she expected the numbers looking to relocate to the country would grow dramatically.
That’s the market the firm intends to tap into.
Mr Ure said a lot of research and investigation had gone into the design of the compact homes which would be built on thermal pads, with solar panels, and low-energy appliances feeding power into a micro grid that would either generate excess power for those involved in the scheme or be on-sold into the general electricity grid.
There’ll also be a charging station at Korumburra.
Those who bought the low-maintenance, low on-going cost homes would have unfettered title to the properties but would sign a mutually beneficial agreement to be part of the power supply scheme.
“The area has a lot to offer. It’s close to the metro area, there’s good local infrastructure, it’s equidistant between Leongatha and Wonthaggi and has good health and education facilities.
“It will be the first of its kind in regional Victoria and will certainly attract new residents to the town,” Mr Ure said.
The Mayor Cr Lorraine Brunt was struck by the low-energy, innovative style of the homes and the fact that Korumburra had been chosen by the firm as both the location to build the homes but also possibly manufacture them in the future.
“The real estate agent has identified the over 55s as the group with the highest demand for this sort of housing in this area but on a larger scale, it would appeal to all demographics,” Mr Ure said.
“We’re at Healesville, something of a boom town residentially but Korumburra is quite a bit like what it was there 10 years ago and being close to Melbourne, we can see it going the same way,” he said.
The iCUE representatives spoke glowingly of improvements in Korumburra of late including the opening of new businesses like the Burra Brewery which indicated vibrancy and the fact that the town was being discovered by business operators and new residents.
George Auddino of Auddino First National is providing sales support for iCUE Smart Homes locally and can be contacted on 0417 311 942 for details.