CRC in­cen­tive pro­gram ‘does not do enough’

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS - PAUL MIL­TON BUT­LER

CAIRNS Re­gional Coun­cil has launched an in­fra­struc­ture charges in­cen­tive pro­gram to stim­u­late em­ploy­ment-gen­er­at­ing de­vel­op­ment in the Dou­glas re­gion.

But lo­cal builders say this isn’t good enough as it only helps wealthy de­vel­op­ers.

Port Dou­glas Builders own­ers Jim Dormer and Mike Clark agreed only the big de­vel­op­ers would gain fi­nan­cially from the pro­gram.

“Any fees and charges dropped have to be a good thing but if the coun­cil re­ally wanted to kick-start the econ­omy in Port Dou­glas and Moss­man re­gion it would get started on the la­goon to­mor­row,” Mr Dormer said.

“We would love the chance to quote to do the work and keep all of our tradies and ap­pren­tices work­ing but for­get us for the mo­ment - it needs to be started on to­mor­row and with lo­cal con­trac­tors and tradies do­ing the work.

“It’s these solid in­fra­struc­ture works that are needed if we are to get the econ­omy go­ing again in the re­gion.

“Let­ting de­vel­op­ers off from pay­ing in­fra­struc­ture charges does not cre­ate jobs and put men on build­ing sites.”

Busi­ness part­ner Mike Clark said drop­ping in­fra­struc­ture charges was just lin­ing the de­vel­op­ers’ pock­ets.

“We need real on-the-ground projects such as many homes be­ing built and a size­able fac­tory that pro­duces some­thing of sub­stance and it in turn it needs hun­dreds of work­ers,” Mr Clark said.

“Then peo­ple would come here for the work and they would need homes and ev­ery­one has work and we’re all mov­ing for­ward - we can’t just stop and stag­nate.”

Lo­cal de­vel­oper Andy Tay­lor, who was in­volved with the Town and Coun­try site in Moss­man, said coun­cil’s pro­gram wasn’t a bad thing but they “need to be fair dinkum” about it.

“In my case, as an ex­am­ple, I had put in de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tions twice with the coun­cil to de­velop the Town and Coun­try site in Moss­man and was knocked back,” he said.

“I’m not cry­ing foul be­cause I did not get the ap­pli­ca­tion but we were knocked back on some mi­nor tech­ni­cal­i­ties - we could have worked through those with the coun­cil and we would have a vi­able project up and run­ning and em­ploy­ing many peo­ple.”

Hav­ing been knocked back twice, Mr Tay­lor said he would not be ap­ply­ing for a third time.

Mayor Bob Man­ning said the pro­gram will tar­get re­tail, com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment, as well as de­vel­op­ment of sig­nif­i­cant community ben­e­fit, to en­cour­age de­vel­op­ment within the re­gion and cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for both short-term and longterm em­ploy­ment.

“We want to give de­vel­op­ers that ex­tra in­cen­tive to get their projects off the ground,” Mr Man­ning said.

One of the cri­te­ria is that a min­i­mum 80 per cent of the con­struc­tion work­force and sup­plies are to be locally sourced.

To be el­i­gi­ble for a dis­count on in­fra­struc­ture charges, an ap­pli­cant needs to demon­strate on­go­ing eco­nomic ben­e­fit and com­mit to hav­ing their project com­pleted by Novem­ber 30, 2014.

Up to 100 per cent of in­fra­struc­ture charges can be waived on a suc­cess­ful project and the over­all dis­count ap­proval amount has not been capped.

Ap­pli­ca­tions for the first round of dis­counts can be lodged from July 16 un­til Au­gust 24.

Look­ing for a level play­ing field: Mike Clark and busi­ness part­ner Jim Dormer

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.