Shovel-ready discount scrapped

A FRASER Coast Regional Council policy encouraging shovel-ready developers to get projects moving in the region will be scrapped from tomorrow.

The shovel-ready project gave big application fee discounts to developers who were willing to hit the ground running and start building without delay.

The policy had already been extended once and Fraser Coast councillor Gerard O’Connell pressed for another extension at a meeting of the community and development committee this week.

“I wanted it extended for another six months, for two reasons,” Mr O’Connell said.

“The first reason being that the Economic Development Advisory Committee recommended to council to extend the life of the policy.

“The other reason was that I thought it was doing some good and generating interest in the economy.

“A discount can entice developers to come in and do something to start a project.

“It was pretty innovative as a council.”

Despite the council’s rejection of the extension, Mr O’Connell told the Chronicle that a compromise had been reached in that existing shovel-ready applicants had an extra six months to complete their projects.

He also said the policy had been beneficial during its time.

Applications to be approved under the Shovel Ready Project Scheme instigated by the council must be lodged today. The council has approved 14 shovel-ready projects which attracted $6 million in discounts and incentives under the scheme.

In a report presented to the council, it was shown that the Gold Coast council had capped its version of the program at $4m. 



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