Float­ing ideas to stim­u­late growth

Central and North Burnett Times - - WELCOME - Emily Smith emily.smith@cnbtimes.com.au

A PLAN to draw more new home builders to the Fraser Coast has caught the eye of the North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil.

Un­der the scheme, home builders in cer­tain parts of the Fraser Coast Coun­cil area re­ceive $12,000 back on the cost of their new home, which is funded half by the coun­cil and half by a Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment grant.

At a North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil meet­ing last Tues­day, Mayor Don Waugh put the home builders re­bate idea to his coun­cil­lors.

Act­ing CEO David Wiskar said in the past the coun­cil had promised a two-year rate sub­sidy for new home own­ers but the idea was poorly taken up.

Coun­cil­lors Faye Whe­lan and Kevin Wendt be­lieved in­vest­ing in in­dus­try was a more worth­while use of funds.

“In­vest­ing in the un­der­ly­ing econ­omy is more im­por­tant,” Cr Whe­lan said.

“If you at­tract busi­nesses you at­tract pop­u­la­tion, not the other way around,” Cr Wendt said.

“Maybe giv­ing a sub­sidy to new busi­nesses would be the way to go.”

Fraser Coast In­fra­struc­ture and Plan­ning Coun­cil­lor Trevor McDon­ald said the in­cen­tive had not yet reached the tar­gets that were set “about four or five years ago”.

“The take-up has not been as good as we hoped and we may have to give some money back,” Cr McDon­ald said.

He said a scheme where spe­cific new busi­nesses that em­ployed more than six peo­ple re­ceived 20-30% of their in­fra­struc­ture costs back was a more suc­cess­ful in­cen­tive scheme.

“Busi­ness growth has to come first, be­cause busi­nesses are key to res­i­den­tial growth,” he said.

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