‘Tax holiday’ for developers
IN A sign of the desperate state of the local building industry, Cairns Regional Council yesterday declared a “tax holiday” for developers who have projects “shovel-ready”.
This week’s planning and environment committee meeting decided unanimously to back a request from local builders to waive council “headwork” contributions for projects which can be completed by July next year.
“This is going to save developers money, hopefully making it more attractive to develop land in the Cairns region during the next year,” council’s general manager for planning and environment Peter Tabulo said.
“We know there are projects out there that are ready to go, but associated costs are holding them back.
“We hope this extra incentive will get those projects moving along.”
Local developer Andy Taylor of Prime Construc- tions said the move would encourage his partners to give the green light to two Douglas region developments worth around $30 million.
“We don’t need much to get these projects ticking,” Mr Taylor said.
“Both of them would definitely be off the ground by July 2012.” only $2.3 million in the first nine months of the 2010/11 financial year, indicating building work in the region has declined by 75 per cent in two years.
Division 10 councillor Julia Leu said the incentive was being offered “because the construction industry is going through such a significant downturn”.
“This is a move to stimulate the construction sector and help reverse an industry downturn,” she said.
“Other councils in Queensland are adopting similar measures.”
Mayor Val Schier said council was pleased to be able to assist the local building industry.
“We are demonstrating that we are capable of flexibility within our governance and a willingness to lead the way when times are tough,” she said.
The discount has been capped at $4 million in total for residential and commercial developments that meet council planning guidelines and discount eligibility criteria. Applications for the rebate close on May 20.