It is 12 months since the home of Sue Costin and son Kye went up in flames. Ms Costin argues that council bureaucracy is pushing back their rebuild.
It is 12 months since the home of Sue Costin and son Kye went up in flames. Ms Costin argues that council bureaucracy is pushing back their rebuild.

$6000 fee stalls project

A RIVER Heads family, trying to rebuild their lives after fire destroyed their home, has accused the Fraser Coast council of charging on the double.

Sue Costin, Ross Williams and their 11-year-old son Kye leaped from a veranda at their Ocean Outlook home 12 months ago after an electrical fault sent a blaze raging through their house at 2am.

One year later they are still trying to get back on their feet, advancing three-year-old plans to subdivide a Turtle Cove property they own. An infrastructure charge in excess of $6000 has curtailed the project.

Ms Costin believes the council charge is nothing short of double dipping. She says the developer who built the stylish Turtle Cove estate has already paid up by way of a contribution of land.

“They are trying to get two slices of the pie,” she says.

“It just makes it harder on top of us losing everything.

“We’re just waiting for the plans to be approved.

“It really irks me that they do this to people. It’s disgusting.”

Rod Cullen of planning consultants Cullen and Couper says the developer contributed about 10 per cent of the original parcel to the council as open space.

He says the typical slice in a state capital is about seven or eight per cent.

“The land given to the council was more than enough,” he said.

“Instead of catching a developer, it’s a family situation that’s been hit by these infrastructure charges.

“In the council’s defence this is down to State Government who shuffle responsibility from state to local government without providing the resources.”

Mr Cullen also questioned whether the money raised from infrastructure charges on River Heads developments would be channelled back into the River Heads area.

The Chronicle contacted the Fraser Coast council yesterday but a response was not available at the time of going to print.



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