Floating ideas to stimulate growth
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.