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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    BRISBANE CITY COUNCIL SLOW TO ACT ON DUPLEXES

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Monday, February 15, 2010

    BRISBANE CITY COUNCIL SLOW TO ACT ON DUPLEXES

    New provisions in the State Government’s Sustainable Planning Act are set to cut red tape, cut unnecessary council fees and improve affordable housing on land zoned residential.

    Infrastructure and Planning Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Brisbane City Council claims were unfounded.

    “The new regulations target council double dipping on unreasonable requirements on new houses being built in areas already classified as low density residential housing,” Mr Hinchliffe.

    “Council’s have been consulted about the new regulations in the lead up to and since the introduction of the Sustainable Planning Act regulations on 18 December 2009.

    “At least nine councils are already ahead of Brisbane, instead of proposing fights they are taking action to further clarify their town plans.”

    Mr Hinchliffe said Fraser Coast Regional Council, Southern Downs Regional Council and Bundaberg Regional Council already adopted resolutions and Toowoomba Regional Council, Cairns City Council and Gold City Council were considering doing the same.

    Mr Hinchliffe said it was quite clear too many councils were requiring extra town planning assessment and cost where a house or a duplex would be approved under any normal circumstances.

    “This adds unnecessary costs and the new regulation seeks to cut that cost and have council more clearly define where this full assessment and related fees are really necessary,” he said.

    “The new laws don’t override council safeguards protecting character, residential, environmental policies and safety like flooding – Brisbane City has 22 such policies already.

    “Suggestions the State Government has removed Brisbane City Council protections on where two-residence duplexes can or can’t be built are a nonsense.

    “If council want to set a code on where duplexes can and can’t go, they can set a code and the State Government will respect it.”

    Mr Hinchliffe said at the moment in many council areas a single residential home, or a two-building duplex the size of a single residential home, has to be assessed through a building assessment and then a second council assessment which can cost up to $6500 in fees alone.

    “Under SPA, the expensive council assessment can be replaced by a self assessable checklist that confirms the house is of a low-impact form and does not offend clear council town planning safeguards,” he said.

    “In Brisbane if the proposed two-residence duplex triggers any one of the 22 stringent town planning requirements, a council assessment must be done and the associated fees paid.”

    Media contact: Mr Hinchliffe’s office 3224 8750