INCREASING rental prices are forcing families out of Moura.
Westside area manager Peter Dingle fears the industry-driven town of Moura may soon experience symptoms similar to those of their mining town neighbours.
Not only has Peter seen his growing workforce suffer from the rental prices, but he has also experienced the pinch himself.
"Twelve months ago I stood up in front of the town and said Westside was committed to getting families to come to Moura," Mr Dingle said.
"We still desire to have families move to town and aim to have a resident workforce."
Mr Dingle said he had already had issues with staff making their home in Moura.
"The guys we did get here didn't last 12 months.
"It was partly culture shock and also because they couldn't see the value in what they were renting.
"One of the guys had a place on the Sunshine Coast in the hinterlands for the same price as a place here."
Mr Dingle has also been facing his own challenges on the rental market.
When Mr Dingle first moved to Moura 18 months ago, he signed up for a $400-a-week rental property. The price was increased to $425 and he has now been asked to pay $500 a week rent.
Mr Dingle felt this was unreasonable and approached his real estate agent about the increase. He was then issued with a two-month eviction notice.
If the situation is still unresolved in that time, Mr Dingle and his family will be forced to leave town due to the lack of rental properties available.
"Westside has tried to have a manager in town as part of our operations but now if the worst was to happen I would have to be working outside of the town.
"The CEO of Westside is very concerned that he might have an area manager that isn't living in the town.
"When I first moved here, basically the whole street was empty and now you can't rent a place in town. I'm worried it will make it harder for families to move here and therefore harder to attract staff to move here."
Real estate agents in Moura said that there had been an increase in rental prices but nothing significant.
They put it down to the lack of houses to meet demand.
Moura Real Estate said Mr Dingle's increase was due to the bounce-back in real estate prices.
"There are five houses in a row in Wenck St and they are all renting about $500 a week," Moura Real Estate manager Colleen Paton said.
"At the time Peter had bartered with the owner for a lower price and now the owner has asked for the prices to be put back to what it was before.
"The owner didn't really want to go down to that price but thought something was better than nothing.
"The lease was coming due and the owner said they would now like the price to go back in line with the other houses."
Mr Dingle is trying to resolve the matter with Moura Real Estate.
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