Cairns Regional Council has launched an Infrastructure Charges Incentive Program to stimulate employment-generating development in the region.
The program will target retail, commercial and industrial development, as well as development of significant community benefit, to encourage development within the region and create opportunities for both short-term and long-term employment.
“We want to give developers that extra incentive to get their projects off the ground,” Mayor Bob Manning said.
“When our construction industry is slow, the downturn is felt through all local industries. We are looking to restore confidence in our regional economy by stimulating construction in targeted areas.
“One of the criteria is that a minimum 80 per cent of the construction workforce and supplies are to be locally-sourced.
“By focusing on non-residential development, we are also encouraging business growth and ongoing employment.
To be eligible for a discount on infrastructure charges, an applicant needs to demonstrate ongoing economic benefit and commit to having their project completed by November 30, 2014.
This revised Infrastructure Charges Discount program follows on from Council’s existing one-off incentive scheme, which has assisted at least 18 development projects to get under way in the region.
“While we need to provide a timeframe that encourages activity on the ground in the short term, we want to open this new program up to larger projects that may need more time but also offer more significant economic benefit,” Cr Manning said.
“With that in mind, successful applicants will have two full years to complete their projects.”
Up to 100 per cent of infrastructure charges can be waived on a successful project and the overall discount approval amount has not been capped.
Applications for the first round of discounts under this program can be lodged from 16 July until August 24. Applicants will be notified following the September Ordinary Meeting of Council as to whether they are successful.