Queensland families will have better access to affordable housing after State Parliament last night passed new legislation that will resolve long-standing issues around infrastructure charges applied by local councils.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the Sustainable Planning (Infrastructure Charges) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014 would help create jobs, boost the economy and grow the construction industry as promised at the election.
“After comprehensive consultation with local government and industry we have found a way forward that will encourage development to occur across cities, towns and suburbs across Queensland,” Mr Seeney said.
“These developments will deliver affordable housing to Queenslanders and jobs in the development and construction industry.”
“This Act also provides for new funding avenues for local governments for priority infrastructure projects.
“Labor’s long-standing failure to address this issue stifled new residential, industrial and commercial developments across Queensland.
“Our government promised to provide better infrastructure and planning at the election and these reforms will deliver on that commitment.”
Mr Seeney said the Act introduces a ‘fair value schedule of infrastructure charges’ that reflected the cost of infrastructure required to allow new residential, commercial and industrial developments to take place.
“The schedule is generally 10 per cent lower for residential development and 15 per cent less for retail, commercial and industrial development than the regulated infrastructure charging framework,” he said.
“Councils who choose to observe the schedule can make application to have key works identified as Priority Development Infrastructure that could potentially attract co-funding by the State.
“This will help to relieve cost pressures on councils, developers and service providers when it comes to sharing the burden of paying for infrastructure such as roads and water and sewerage treatment plants.”
Mr Seeney said the Bill did not propose to adjust the regulated infrastructure caps that local governments can charge, however councils that chose not to adopt the fair value schedule of charges would not be considered for co-funding.
“Economic Development Queensland, within my Department, is already discussing potential priority development projects with a number of local governments, indicating there is solid support for our initiative,” he said.
The Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning will continue to work with key stakeholders to implement these new reforms.