‘Tax hol­i­day’ for de­vel­op­ers

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - RICHARD KOSER

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.

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