Infrastructure charges fund sand
HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars of Esplanade sand from building sites is being cleaned and transported to our beaches, free, by developers – at the council’s command.
The compulsory sand moving is among ad hoc contributions developers must pay for as part of their financial donations to the region.
In the Bay they also pay for road reserves, mobility corridor extensions, lighting, seats, drinking fountains and landscaping in public areas – usually well away from their actual development sites.
But on Wednesday the council’s CEO, Andrew Brien, sent out a media release saying: “The infrastructure charges are not used to fund parks or facilities in other areas, maintenance or improvement of existing facilities; that work is budgeted for as part of the council’s $65 million capital works program which is funded from general rates, other fees and charges and grants,” Mr Brien said.
“The trunk infrastructure funded by developers’ contributions includes the main roads and large pipes that connect new developments to existing services," he said.
Yesterday development industry representatives phoned and emailed the Chronicle disputing Mr Brien’s statements and suggesting the CEO was using the words “in other areas” to camouflage the fact the council does use trunk infrastructure dollars to improve the region.
“If developers only paid for stuff outside their development’s front door none of the big stuff in Hervey Bay would ever happen,” one businessman said.
“Infrastructure charges are legislated by the State Government but this council has plenty of room to be flexible in what it charges and how it charges.
“They’ve turned off the city.”