The Property Council of Australia is calling on Queensland’s 73 local governments to support jobs in their communities by adopting infrastructure charges well below the capped rates set by the State Government.
The Sustainable Planning (Housing Affordability and Infrastructure Charges Reform) Amendment Bill 2011 passed parliament on the 25th of May. This Bill provides the legislative framework required to enact the capped infrastructure charges regime announced by the Government at the Building Revival Forum. This regime includes capped charges for residential and non-residential development.
Queensland Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia Kathy Mac Dermott said the property industry had undertaken detailed analysis which showed that charges needed to be set well below the caps if Queensland wanted to be competitive with other States.
“It is vital that local governments recognise that they are competing for investment not only with their neighbouring councils, but with regions right around the country,” Ms Mac Dermott said.
“We know that the caps set by the State Government are higher than what is being charged in other States, particularly Victoria.
“This competitive disadvantage will be entrenched if local governments adopt the maximum capped charge and we will continue to see investment and jobs flying south.
“The fact is that Queensland has lost its competitiveness with other states - in part because of infrastructure charges – and the data confirms this.
“Between 2006-07 and 2009-10 the value of residential and non-residential building activity in Queensland declined by 2.6 percent. Over this same period NSW and Victoria recorded 21.4 and 26.7 percent increases respectively.
“Queensland’s economy should be burgeoning considering the current resources boom. However the property sector continues to stall because we cannot compete for investment.
“The fact is that it is more expensive to do development in Queensland and investors will send their capital to the place where it will achieve the best return.
“Throughout the reform process the Property Council made it very clear that charges needed to be capped at the lower end of the range announced by the Infrastructure Charges Taskforce.
“This was based on an analysis of projects that had actually proceeded and an assessment of our interstate competitiveness.
“The Property Council will be writing to all Mayors to reinforce this critical issue and to ask them to support jobs in their local building and construction industry by setting charges lower than the caps.
“In particular we will emphasize the importance of councils who currently charge below the caps not ratcheting up to the maximum simply because they can.
“The State Government hosted a Building Revival Forum because they know that the building industry in Queensland is currently doing it extremely tough.
“We commend councils like Townsville and Cairns who have recognised the importance of stimulating local jobs in the property sector and have already introduced initiatives to reduce the impact of these charges to attract investment.
“We are calling on councils to play their part in restoring this industry and supporting their local workforce by locking in lower infrastructure charges,” Ms Mac Dermott said.
Kathy Mac Dermott,
Queensland Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia
0427 243 986