Maryborough Chamber of Commerce president Lance Stone welcomed the proposed change to infrastructure charges by the Fraser Coast Regional Council.
Maryborough Chamber of Commerce president Lance Stone welcomed the proposed change to infrastructure charges by the Fraser Coast Regional Council. Karleila Thomsen

Chambers of Commerce welcome development incentive

EFFORTS to bring changes to infrastructure charges in the Fraser Coast have been welcomed by the Chamber of Commerce presidents in the region.

Both Hervey Bay and Maryborough Chamber of Commerce presidents Sandra Holebrook and Lance Stone have expressed their support for the recent announcement of a new development incentive for the Coast.

But Ms Holebrook wants to see "more solid facts” from the incentive.

"It's nothing new, but it means that people can come here to the Fraser Coast. It's good to put this out and have the offering, but we're only bringing ourselves into line with the entire situation,” she said.

"People have looked as far up the Coast as possible and found huge discounts outside of the region - Bundaberg already has a 100% discount in the CBD, for example.

"I welcome any reform, but this incentive lacks financial targets.”

Despite calling the incentive "a welcome spin,” Ms Holebrook said she wanted to see what council was hoping to gain from the changes.

"It won't answer job issues to any great extent, but I'd like to see the figures of what this reform will generate,” she said.

The changes involved the waiving of infrastructure charges for new commercial properties in CBDs across the Fraser Coast from February 2017.

Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft said he hoped the development incentive would allow for new investment into the region.

Maryborough president Lance Stone said it was a great opportunity to encourage businesses to invest in the region, but stated the region needed to "get its house in order” from a local government point of view.

"It's a good initiative from a chamber point of view, but the other hurdle is the fact that our council...(has) disunity that we need to overcome,” he said.

"Let's get our backyard sorted out and offer this stuff externally to new businesses - it will drive the economy.”



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