THE Queensland Government last week said it was providing a way forward to the challenging issue of infrastructure charges that will encourage development, while providing new funding avenues for local government.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the government drafted a fair value schedule of infrastructure charges after months of engagement with local government and industry.
"Our goal has been to ensure the right balance is struck between encouraging development and jobs for Queenslanders and ensuring local governments have the funds necessary to build infrastructure such as roads and water and sewerage treatment plants," Mr Seeney said.
"We are not going to adjust the regulated infrastructure caps that local governments can charge. Instead, we will put in place funding incentives for councils that use a new 'fair value schedule of charges' by having the State co-invest in Priority Development Infrastructure in the council's area."
Mr Seeney said the fair value schedule has been developed after reviewing infrastructure charges across Queensland to better reflect the true cost of providing the essential infrastructure necessary to deliver housing and commercial developments.
"Based on this research, the fair value schedule of charges 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.
"The new fair value schedule of charges will boost the development industry, while also providing the opportunity for local government to gain investment in infrastructure from the state government.
"Councils, developers or service providers will make applications to the state government to have key works identified as Priority Development Infrastructure that could potentially attract co-funding by the State," Mr Seeney said, adding that councils who refuse to use the fair value schedule will not be considered.
"While the over-arching principle of the State becoming a co-investor in Priority Development Infrastructure has been decided, the models for how we do this will be developed upon further consultation," he said.
The Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning aims to have arrangements for the Priority Development Infrastructure Program in place for the new financial year.