Gold Coast Mayor – Head in the Sand?

Gold Coast Mayor – Head in the Sand?

The City of the Gold Coast needs an immediate building boost, red tape reduction and a “we are open for business” mentality from its Council (refer to No More Red Tape, Closed for Business? & Stimulus needed for Gold Coast).

From the Mayor’s comments (see below) it would appear that he does not understand nor appreciate the dire multiplier effects that the effective shutting down of the construction industry has on the Gold Coast economy and its residents.
The Gold Coast City Council must accept that it has played a significant role in the current poor construction figures and it must act to rectify the situation urgently.
The Mayor says that “we can’t possibly make the rest of the Gold Coast pay to stimulate the economy”. ADC warns that the Gold Coast and its residents are already paying due to this Council’s inaction (refer to Dysfunctional Council, Bloated Bureaucracy post).

ADC calls on the Gold Coast City Council to act urgently, otherwise the Gold Coast, its residents and businesses will continue to pay.

Plea for boost to build

Melanie Maeseele

THE Gold Coast has the lowest housing approval rates in southeast Queensland and industry experts warn things will get worse.

They say the only way to salvage and boost what is left of the Coast’s building and construction industry is for the council to implement “urgent” changes to its fees and approval system.

Gold Coast president of the Urban Development Institute of Australia, Steve Harrison, described findings in the Development and Construction Industry Performance Report yesterday as “disturbing” and “severe”.

Key findings reveal the number of unit approvals on the Gold Coast in the past quarter is 44 per cent below the average for 2007-08 and 2006-07 and the number of detached house approvals for the past quarter ranked the city the worst in southeast Queensland.

The report also says 7,537 full-time construction jobs were lost in the state in the three months to August.

The UDIA forecast the drop two years ago and asked the council to review fees.

“The Gold Coast has the best platform in the world to work from and yet we don’t have the business or development to reflect that,” Mr Harrison said.

“We desperately need council to put measures in place to stimulate growth. Without it, it’s only going to get worse.

Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke agreed the figures were “concerning” but said the council was in no position to remove development application costs. “We can’t get rid of council approval fees. Who would pay for it then?” Cr Clarke said. “We need those fees to pay for our assessment team to go through the application. “If you do get rid of the fees then rates have to go up. “We can’t possibly make the rest of the Gold Coast pay to stimulate the economy.” Cr Clarke said the council was doing everything it could to help the Coast construction industry recover on the back of the Global Financial Crisis.

Source: Gold Coast Bulletin 22/9/11 Page 7 Section: General News