The Mid West’s cheapest land has been snapped up after being marketed from $1 a block, bringing new blood to a town of less than 300 people. The Shire of Mingenew released nine blocks on October 14 to attract new residents to join in the town’s community life. Ten tenders were put forward and assessed on application criteria including how the buyer intended to use the land, how quickly they planned to build and their contribution to the community. Two of the successful applicants were from Mingenew, one was from Dongara and the rest were non-locals looking to build in and move to Mingenew, or to house their employees long term. Peter Wilson scooped up 38 King Street while Peter Neale bagged 5 Broad Street, the cheapest blocks at the asking price of $1 apiece. Mark Crowley, Clint Koulovi, of Irwin Plumbing, and Peter Micono paid the most for their land at $500 each. Shirley Elliot is on the waiting list in the case that any of the sales do not proceed, with any available blocks to be offered to her for $10. The blocks ranged in size from 864sqm to 2024sqm, with six applicants receiving their first preference. The Shire of Mingenew last month advertised in print and online of the tender, while also receiving Statewide print and radio coverage on their scheme to put forward the properties for next to nothing. Shire of Mingenew chief executive Nils Hay said there was interest from some buyers for a double block, which supported a potential demand theory around bigger lifestyle blocks in Mingenew. “It is also proposed that we assist the unsuccessful tenderer to make contact with local landholders that may be looking to sell, noting that they will want market price, but that this is likely to be between $5000 and $7000.” He said based on the prices offered, the Shire stood to earn $2062 from the sale of the blocks as once the properties changed hands they would become liable for rates, which would see a slight increase in rates this year and in the future. Mingenew has seen a rapid population decline in the past decade, which Mr Hay said was partly due to farms moving from sheep to grain, which was far less labour intensive. Census data showed Mingenew had a population of 480 in 2011, but by 2016 it had declined to 282, with 33 per cent of residents aged over 55. Mr Hay said he was pleasantly surprised at the interest the tenders received and the interest the applicants showed at being part of the community. “Even if we just got a couple of new families who built a few new houses, that’s a fantastic outcome for our town,” he said. Following allocation of successful tenders, draft contracts were being prepared to allow for swift execution, enabling buyers the maximum amount of time to arrange builders and secure possible State and Federal Government building assistance. Blocks may be offered back to the public in the event the tenders are not taken up by applicants not offered their first preference.