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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General, Minister for Local Government and Special Minister of State
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Bill passed to clarify infrastructure charges

    Attorney-General, Minister for Local Government and Special Minister of State
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Bill passed to clarify infrastructure charges

    High infrastructure charges that stall new projects, cost jobs and push up the price of housing in Queensland are now a thing of the past following the passing of the Sustainable Planning (Housing Affordability and Infrastructure Charges Reform) Amendment Bill 2011 during Regional Parliament in Mackay today.

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Local Government Paul Lucas said the Bligh Government’s overhaul of the infrastructure charging system would stimulate growth and in turn generate jobs and improve housing affordability.

    “The Bill passed in Parliament today will provide transparency and certainty to developers and home buyers and will help get the ball rolling on development again,” Mr Lucas said.

    “The construction and building industry is extremely important to Queensland as about a third of our jobs are in this sector and it is responsible for delivering the new homes and places of business our growing state needs.”

    Mr Lucas said the legislation passed the House with only two votes opposed.

    “This legislation is essentially needed because the government has had to step in to resolve a dispute between councils and developers about the money that councils, not the State, collects from them,” he said.

    “No developer likes to pay money for infrastructure charges and no council likes to forgo the payment but to get development going, create jobs in the building industry and housing for Queenslanders, we must strike a balance.

    “Whilst the opposition used the debate to criticise the government, they voted with the government to support its passage and moved no amendments.”

    Mr Lucas said last year’s Growth Management Summit established an independent Taskforce to review this complex area.

    “As recommended by the independent Infrastructure Charges Taskforce, we’ve set maximum prices for trunk infrastructure charges on new development, including $28,000 for a home with three or more bedrooms, and $20,000 for one and two-bedroom homes.

    “These new maximum charges will go a long way to ensuring Queenslanders are able to afford the great Australian dream of owning their own home, while still funding the infrastructure needed to service their communities.

    “We’ve also set maximum charges for job-creating projects, including commercial, retail and industrial development.”

    Mr Lucas said local governments now have the flexibility to choose whether they adopted the maximum charges, or charge lesser amounts.

    “The new rules give councils the ability to choose lower infrastructure charges that are appropriate for their local communities, while stimulating construction activity and competing for investment,” he said.

    “What we’ve set is a maximum charge and it’s important to note that local governments will be responsible for setting their own local charges.

    “If local governments want to subsidise infrastructure charges to stimulate development and encourage jobs growth they will still be allowed to – in fact we encourage it.”

    “We’ve already seen councils such as Townsville, Moreton Bay, Fraser Coast and Cairns publicly declare their support for the changes or initiate their own capping and discounting because they know it will kickstart much-needed development revivals in their areas.”

    Mr Lucas said this legislation would now be followed by a consultation process with local government and the development industry over the regulatory provisions to implement the charges regime.

    “The State will also shortly embark upon a process – as recommended by the taskforce – with local government and developers to seek more uniformity in conditions opposed upon development approvals,” he said.


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