Australian town overwhelmed by response to free land offer

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian Outback town of Quilpie (Quill-Pea) hoped its offer of free residential land to anyone who would make it their home might attract five new families to the remote community of 800. But authorities have been overwhelmed by more than 250 inquires in less than two weeks from around Australia and internationally. The town council came up with the novel idea to overcome a housing shortage in western Queensland state. People who buy a block of land, build a house and live in it for six months are eligible for a 12,500 Australian dollar ($9,400) grant. That’s the price of a block of land, so the council is effectively giving the land away.