Warren Harris and Peter Marles from UDIA met with other delegates at the Bundaberg council chambers. udi1202a
Warren Harris and Peter Marles from UDIA met with other delegates at the Bundaberg council chambers. udi1202a

Charges a concern for lobby group

BUNDABERG developers have banded together to get their voices heard over changes that saw the cost of developments skyrocket.

At the first meeting of the Urban Development Institute Australia’s (UDIA) Bundaberg branch yesterday, president Peter Marles said the association would act as information and advocacy group for developers.

“What we want to make clear to people is that the urban development industry is vital to the Bundaberg region — it’s the fourth largest industry in Queensland,” Mr Marles said.

“It’s also one of the largest employers in the state.”

Hot topics for the group will be the Sustainable Planning Act, State Planning Regulatory Provisions, and recent amendments to the Building Act regarding sustainable dwellings.

But Mr Marles said one of the major issues for discussion was the cancellation of a 40% subsidy on infrastructure charges, which was scrapped in July 2008.

“The loss of that subsidy has had a catastrophic impact, it has made many developments completely unaffordable,” Mr Marles said.

“The councils have to pass the costs onto developers, and developers can’t afford it either so it goes onto consumers, and boosts the price for them.”

He said the loss of the subsidy was felt across the region, as developers put off projects where the sewage and infrastructure charges would be too high.

“The whole coastal region suffers because it has no sewage, and it is very expensive for developers to do a large development where they have to pay the full cost of putting it in,” he said.

“The coastal region is our biggest asset in terms of land for development.”

UDIA Queensland president Warren Harris said the group hoped to echo the success of mining lobby groups.

“We don’t expect a free ride from the government (in relation to charges), but this is our chance to lobby and advance the development industry,” he said.



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