More than $11 million worth of development infrastructure charges will be waived by Cairns Regional Council in a bid to stimulate the local construction industry.
Council’s Infrastructure Contributions Incentive Program was introduced in July to encourage commercial construction activity within the Cairns region.
Council received 31 applications, with 22 approved for assistance under the program.
Mayor Bob Manning said the successful projects had a combined value of around $400 million and he looked forward to seeing all 22 projects progress quickly.
“The objective is to encourage development that will actively contribute to employment and economic growth,” Cr Manning said.
“Council has offered to waive fees worth nearly $11.3 million – this will help these projects to get off the ground, generating hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of construction, which will flow on to other areas of the local economy.
“To receive the discounts offered, developers need to have their projects completed by November 30, 2014. We’re expecting to see some activity very soon.”
To comply with the requirements of the discount program, successful developers need to demonstrate that no less than 80 per cent of the workforce and supplies on site were sourced locally and provide regular progress reports to Council.
The program is part of Council’s broader agenda to stimulate the local economy, which commenced with the handing down of the 2012-2013 Budget in which Council opted to keep general rates low to reduce the economic burden on households.
“Council chose to keep rates low and find efficiencies within the organisation to lessen the burden on households. This was a deliberate move on our behalf to keep that money circulating around the community,” Cr Manning said.
“On top of that, we have announced a $114 million capital works program, which includes $14 million for the Edmonton Leisure Centre where work is already under way.”