Gold Coast Farewells Infrastructure Charges

Gold Coast Farewells Infrastructure Charges

Gold Coast City Council Boosts Economic Development and Investment Through Infrastructure Charge Stimulus and Reform

Council has today answered long standing calls from industry with the announcement of their initiative for an immediate stimulus for construction on the Gold Coast. Council has announced a double faceted stimulus package for business and investment with the goal of kick starting construction for the short term, as well as implementing measures to sustain the industry in the long term, with the ultimate goal of boosting the economy and creating jobs, jobs, jobs ! ADC congratulates Mayor Tom Tate and his council on delivering this pre-election promise.

A significant short term measure to be introduced as previously promised is a major reduction in currently exorbitant council development fees that have been stifling economic growth and new business in the region. Mayor Tom Tate has promised a full 100 percent discount or “holiday” on stormwater, recreation and transport infrastructure charges for projects that have substantially commenced between 1st October 2012 and 31st March 2013. Following on from this, projects that commence after March 2013  but before October 2013 will receive a 50 percent reduction on these infrastructure charges. The infrastructure charges payable on water and sewer will still apply and developments need to be completed before March 2015.

Currently without the stimulus, the uneconomically viable infrastructure charges on a typical house are $27,000 per lot. ADC estimates that the impact of the 100 percent discount on transport, recreation and stormwater fees will translate to a 55.5 percent average reduction on overall infrastructure charges for a typical development during the first 6 months of this injection measure.This equates to a saving of about $14,985 per lot as per below table (fig 1), with an expected similar impact on unit developments. ADC sees this as a positive step in the effort to stimulate construction and investment as well as create jobs and boost the local economy.

Table

Click to enlarge image

(Fig 1, Current infrastructure charges and expected reduction – analysed by ADC Planning Section)

The second facet of Council’s injection initiative is a long term measure aimed at maintaining investment and business activity moving forward. Council will permanently lift charges on businesses applying to move into an existing commercial building that has already paid infrastructure charges, meaning that fees won’t be charged more than once. Currently the charges on new businesses trying to establish on the Gold Coast and home businesses trying to move into commercial space, are prohibitive, turning new business and therefore jobs away. Exorbitant charges have seen many new businesses and investment ideas move elsewhere or fail. For an example see our previous article on Zoo Allstars, a local dance studio who were facing charges of $120,000 to have the use of their premises changed. The abolishment of these charges is welcomed by ADC as it will create immediate movement on the Gold Coast by encouraging investment and create the opportunity for new ideas for businesses, development and job growth.

Finally, businesses that apply to expand up to a limit of 500sqm will also no longer be required to pay additional charges, i.e. expansion will not be penalised.

This is all positive news for the Gold Coast and ADC expects it to have an immediate positive impact on stimulating long overdue business, construction  and investment activity in the city. These positive measures will provide long overdue consumer and business confidence, helping boost job opportunities. Arnold Development Consultants congratulates Tom Tate and the Council for their vision. 

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