Gold Coast Closed For Business?

goldcoastclosedGold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke’s recent media release on building activity continuing (see below) states that the City’s development and building activity continues, but by the Mayor’s own figures, building activity on the Gold Coast whilst continuing is still clearly in significant decline from 2010 (7,774 approvals) and 2006 (11,494 approvals) with 3,958 approvals by the end of August 2011. Therefore again we reiterate our urgent call for a building boost to stimulate the construction and development sector, the Gold Coast’s second largest industry. (Please refer to previous comments in ADC’s building boost article – Council Grant Axed )

ADC also calls for improved local government efficiencies and best practice for the Gold Coast to encourage building and business activity and investment. The Gold Coast City Council needs to make it clear to the business community, property owners and developers alike that the region is once again open for business.

City’s development and building activity continues

Mayor Ron Clarke Media Release Building Activity September 2011

Contrary to media reports, correct statistics clearly show development and building activity continues on the Gold Coast, says Mayor Ron Clarke.

Mayor Clarke said a report in the Gold Coast Bulletin last week had stated there had been only ‘11 development approvals’ issued by Council in August.

“This is completely wrong. In August, Council decided 257 development applications, an increase of 23 per cent on the previous month and only three per cent down on the same month last year,” Cr Clarke said.

He said it seemed the Bulletin’s article had confused development, or planning, applications, which were handled by Council, with building applications, which were handled by private certifiers.

“But even building approvals, which are eventually reported to Council by private certifiers, are far higher than was indicated by the newspaper report.

“Private certifiers are required to report approvals and completions to Council, but while the legislation requires this to happen within five working days, this seldom occurs.

“It can be as much as six months before Council receives word on actual approvals, building starts or completion of commercial and residential projects.

“The figure of 11 building starts for August, taken from my monthly report, was a preliminary figure which indicated just the first few projects to be reported to Council.

“By yesterday (12/9) morning, this figure was already at 25 and will continue to rise as the paperwork is submitted, sometimes up to six months later.”

Cr Clarke said the figures for the first three months of the year were probably the most accurate reflection of actual building activity.

“For January we have records of 155 building starts, with paperwork for three more submitted last week. There were 239 starts recorded for February, with this rising one since last week, and for March the number of starts recorded was 250, up six from last week.

“Together with Council’s planning approvals, these figures tell us that Council is approving development and this is translating into building approvals by private certifiers.

“To the best of our knowledge, at this point in time, private certifiers have approved close to 4000 commercial and residential building projects to the end of August, and historically, about three quarters of these convert into actual construction work.”

The Mayor said Council this week had made some changes to the way it dealt with development applications in an effort to further facilitate construction activity.