Council scraps shovel-ready policy

THE SCRAPPING of the council's shovel-ready policy was a badly timed and short-sighted decision, says Fraser Coast UDIA president Daniel Poacher.

Developers were offered big discounts on fees during the nine months the policy was implemented.

Mr Poacher commended the council for introducing the policy, but said the decision to end the incentives in the lead-up to Christmas when development traditionally slowed was disappointing.

“Only two local governments in the state saw the implications of this type of policy so hats off to them for consulting with the UDIA and putting it into place,” Mr Poacher said.

“Things started to happen and a few million dollars worth of work got under way because of the shovel-ready policy.

“There was not a lot of forethought in the decision to stop it at this time. After Christmas would have been better timing.”

Fourteen shovel-ready projects have been approved by council, saving developers about $6 million.

“The council talk about how much it has cost them, but we disagree with that line of thought,” Mr Poacher said.

“Getting half of something is better than getting none of something.

“If headworks charges stayed as they were we may not have gotten those developments.

“Stimulating the development and construction part of the economy will benefit the residents, the businesses and the council as a business.

“I would have liked to have seen the shovel-ready policy extended and reassessed in another six months.”

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