Facilitating Development policy revised and to remain in place
Published: 09 Feb 2022
A revised policy that provides incentives to encourage development in the Mackay region will remain in place for at least another 12 months.
A key focus of the amended policy is to contribute to housing diversity and a greater choice for the community.
The Facilitating Development in the Mackay Region Policy has been in place since late 2014 and reviewed and amended annually.
The most recent review was brought forward following a resolution of council and included a workshop with councillors and key stakeholders.
Mayor Greg Williamson said following that major review councillors agreed it was important to keep such a policy in place and include more incentives for housing diversity.
“Although Mackay has seen increased demand for housing, the majority of this has been for detached dwellings, with units not seeing similar increases in demand,’’ he said.
“Most other comparable local governments offer some form of incentives for development.
“There is competition among local governments for investment and it is an important consideration.”
An ordinary meeting of council today adopted the revised Facilitating Development in the Mackay Region Policy for one year, starting February 14.
Among the amendments to the previous policy is a change to Schedule 7 (Housing Diversity).
Since the introduction of Schedule 7 in December 2020, only one application has been received, with a further three in the Expression of Interest stage.
“This shows that even though there is a surge in demand for housing, the existing 25 per cent infrastructure charges discount, up to $250,000, isn’t attractive enough to promote additional unit type developments,’’ Mayor Williamson said.
“To promote the development of alternative housing types and increase the potential viability, the revised policy increases the reduction in infrastructure charges from 25 per cent to 50 per cent,” he said.
“It also increases the maximum amount from $250,000 to $500,000.”
There are other minor amendments to other schedules within the policy.
> Since council’s Facilitating Development in the Mackay Region Policy was first established in December 2014, a total of 59 applications have been approved.
> The approved applications have a combined construction value of $484 million, which is modelled to generate $1.147 billion economic output and 2163 construction jobs. > If all approvals were to be constructed and completed in accordance with the timeframes and approval conditions, the following concessions would be realised: - Infrastructure charge concessions: $11 million (initial infrastructure charges were $30 million) - Service connection application discount: $36,500 - Food/trade waste application discount: $2500 - Potential delayed payment for 30 applicants.
Note: Monitoring of the status of approvals indicates that not all developments will be completed within the two-year approval timeframe and the concessions to be realised will be much less than what has been approved. The ongoing monitoring is an important consideration of the Policy review as it allows for a more accurate representation of the concessions likely to be realised and reduces the risk to council of approving disproportionate concessions and forfeiting excessive revenue.