Construction activity worth $355 million has been incentivised in less than three years through Bundaberg Regional Council’s Open for Development program.
Launched in July 2016, the program ends on 30 June and projects must be completed by 26 June 2020.
Planning and development portfolio spokesman Cr Ross Sommerfeld said the value of building and civil works completed so far is $120 million.
This includes 810 lots, 157 residential units, 397 short-term accommodation beds, commercial floor space of 12,800sqm and 4340sqm of industrial space.
There have been 189 applications approved and 109 developments completed.
“The incentive was there to encourage development and it’s worked,” Cr Sommerfeld said.
“Without the incentive program, a lot of these applications wouldn’t have been lodged with Council.
“The fact they’ve gone ahead means there has been increased construction activity, new roads and all the flow-on benefits that go with building new houses, industrial, commercial and agricultural premises.
“It’s been a huge success.”
Open for Development creates jobs
Director/Builder of JRZ Homes, Jesse Zielke, said the Open for Development program had stimulated construction and created jobs.
As a result of the program, JRZ Homes bought two larger lots in the area of Chards Road and McCarthy Road at Avenell Heights.
“We went about turning that into 17 residential blocks of land with its own cul-de-sac, now known as Honeybee Court,” he said.
“By the time it’s fully built there will have been approximately $7.5 million of work completed.
“We used a local contractor who employed six full-time workers for about six months. My business has built six homes in there and another four are on the way.
“That’s helped my business a lot. We employ 20 local people directly and another 100 indirectly.”
Mr Zielke said he wouldn’t have gone ahead without Council’s Open for Development program.
“If it wasn’t for Open for Development we wouldn’t have been able to do the project because it wouldn’t have been viable,” he said.
“Many ratepayers don’t realise we still have to pay infrastructure charges.
“Although it’s 50 per cent off I still had to pay $190,000 to improve services, so it benefits everyone, it spurs development.”
Cr Sommerfeld said there had been a flurry of applications before the 30 June cut-off and he expected to see increased construction activity in the next 12 months.
“Developers still pay 50 per cent infrastructure charges in most cases and the community benefits through future rates payments,” he said.
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