Construction Kick Start Warning  – Gold Coast

Construction Kick Start Warning – Gold Coast

constructionADC again congratulates Mayor Tom Tate and his team for helping to restore consumer and business confidence in the local market through the Construction Kick Start initiative.

The necessity of such a program has been emphasised, with almost 300 applications over 7 months. Council has estimated that the net impact to the local area has been the creation of 1500 construction and 1100 permanent jobs due to the $200 million investment into these projects.

Despite these positives, ADC has the following recommendations:

i) Reduce Bureaucracy: ADC calls on the Council to not jeopardise business confidence gained over the past year through the Construction Kickstart. “Substantial commencement” is required by the end of April 2013 to lock in the infrastructure charges discount. Currently Council has a bureaucratic checklist to define ‘substantial commencement’ which developments must strictly comply with for the discount to occur. Council needs to reduce bureaucracy and use a common sense mechanism to demonstrate “substantial commencement” of construction for each approved “Kickstart” project.

ii) Use common sense where necessary in the event that a project has created substantial construction activity in the local economy but does not strictly comply with the checklist.
a. Council’s Development Assessment Review Team (DART) could be employed in cases where substantial construction, on an approved “Kickstart” project, has not met the strict Council checklist. There are many examples where sites may not strictly comply. An example of this would be a site that requires major bulk earthworks prior to pipes going into the ground. The project has clearly substantially commenced (employing many local construction workers) due to the “Kickstart”, but because of the sloping nature of the site it could not tick every box to satisfy Council’s definition of “substantial commencement”. A common sense approach in this type of situation, managed by a committee such as DART, could ensure that the intent and integrity of the program be met.

iii) Look for further stimuli for the local economy: The “Construction Kick Start” is a one year stimulus only. With the clear success of the project for local investment and jobs growth, ADC calls on the Council to continue with further programs into the future.

iv) State-wide stimulus: ADC calls on all Queensland Councils to consider the implementation of stimulus packages such as the Gold Coast’s Construction Kickstart package, to assist in building investor and business confidence in the State.

 

For further information on Council’s Kick Start Stimulus contact ADC