Builders are calling for a reduction in infrastructure charges to assist with development during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Brett Wortman
Builders are calling for a reduction in infrastructure charges to assist with development during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Brett Wortman

Builders call for council assistance to spur on development

A MACKAY builder says a reduction in the cost of development applications may not be enough to spur on construction through the coronavirus pandemic.

Mackay Regional Council has announced a 50 per cent reduction in developer application fees for a six-month period between April and September 2020.

But Palmview Homes builder Steve Challen said a reduction in infrastructure charges was needed as well.

Blacks Beach Real Estate director Peter Francis and Palmview Homes builder Steve Challen at a new home build in Andergrove.
Blacks Beach Real Estate director Peter Francis and Palmview Homes builder Steve Challen at a new home build in Andergrove.

Infrastructure charges cover things like sewage, water and roads.

Mr Challen said every developer paid more than $20,000 per block of land in infrastructure charges in Mackay, more than three times the cost of what a development application would be.

"It is troubling times for everyone, and any significant drop in council charges would play heavily on whether a developer decides to move forward with a project or not," he said.

Mr Challen said the council's discount was helpful, but in the big scheme of things would not save developers a lot of money or spur on construction.

 

Palmview Homes is working on construction projects at Somerset Park housing estate in Mackay.
Palmview Homes is working on construction projects at Somerset Park housing estate in Mackay.

The 50 per cent reduction in developer application fees was included in the Real Estate Industry of Queensland's most recent plea to the government to assist the struggling property market.

With an expected drop in sales as homeowners and buyers prepare for an economic downturn, REIQ has called for a 75 per cent reduction in stamp duty and an extension to the First Home Buyers Grant to include established housing.

Elders Real Estate Mackay director Sally Richards said including established housing under the First Home Buyers Grant would stimulate the economy.

The first home buyers grant is currently only available to purchase new houses. Picture: Contributed
The first home buyers grant is currently only available to purchase new houses. Picture: Contributed

She believed it would greatly assist the region's property market, with flow-on effects to those looking to sell.

"It would encourage people to not only buy, but also to sell their homes," Ms Richards said.

"I think it would encourage those who are concerned about the uncertainty of the future to take advantage of the one-off incentive."

Ms Richards said it was vital that tenants continued to pay rent to their landlords while taking advantage of the government assistant packages on offer.

Other REIQ recommendations to the State Government include:

  • Removal of stamp duty for persons aged 65-plus years
  • A 50 per cent reduction in stamp duty where residential investment property purchases are committed to the permanent rental market in Queensland for three years or more
  • A 40 per cent reduction in stamp duty for all other residential property purchases
  • A significant reduction or temporary removal of land tax for the period of the coronavirus pandemic
  • Waive local government rates for those who have lost their income as a result of this crisis
  • Implement a 50 per cent discount on local government rates to assist household budgets and assist in stimulating the Queensland economy

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