The development and construction industry is a key component of the Bundaberg regional economy.
Prior to Covid-19, the construction industry contributed over $300 million to the gross regional product annually and directly employed nearly 2,500 people locally with flow-on benefits to many other local businesses.
The Bundaberg Regional Council is firmly committed to supporting this key sector of the economy to recover from the economic impacts of Covid-19 so that it can continue to provide employment and economic growth for our region.
On 1 July 2020, Bundaberg Regional Council launched the Building Bundaberg Region 2020 development recovery package. The initiative provides a range of incentives designed to stimulate building and development activity.
Moratorium on automatic increases to levied charges
Council is putting in place a moratorium on applying increases to unpaid infrastructure charges to help minimise increasing costs during the Covid-19 recovery period. The moratorium will apply to the application of the automatic increase provisions detailed on the applicable Infrastructure Charge Notice from 1 July 2020 for a period of 12 months.
No application fees for extending existing approvals
To ensure that approvals remain valid until economic conditions improve and make projects viable, Council is reducing the charge on applications to extend certain approvals. Where the development approval is due to expire during the 2020/21 financial year, Council will not charge an application fee for lodgement of an extension application.
Infrastructure charges discounts
To assist development that will help generate economic growth and jobs, Council is offering discounts off infrastructure charges (up to a maximum of $1 million) across three categories:
- 100% for certain developments in the Bundaberg CBD, the town centres of Gin Gin and Childers, and the tourism precincts of Woodgate, Moore Park Beach, Burnett Heads and Bargara (see mapped incentive areas)
- 100% for certain rural uses involved with value-adding to on-farm activities
- 50% for all other material change of use and building works development
How to take advantage of the incentives
To be eligible for the infrastructure charge discounts, it is necessary to make a simple and quick application to Council.
Applications for the infrastructure charge discounts open on 1 July 2020 and must be received on or before the closing date of 30 June 2021. Development that is incentivised under this program is required to be completed within 12 months of the date that the incentives application is approved.
Please see the Rules and Procedures attached to the application form as well as the Building Bundaberg 2020 Infrastructure Agreement for full details on the discounts on offer as well as the obligations applicable to developers and land owners.
To find out how we can help you with your development proposal, please contact Council’s Development Group.
Assistance in other ways
Council is providing raft assistance designed to help residents and developers with their development projects including:
- Free pre-lodgement meetings.
- 50-100% discount on fees and charges for not-for-profit organisations.
- 50% discounts on infrastructure charges for rural industry and other intensive rural uses.
- 50% discount on infrastructure charges for tourist park and nature based tourism.
- Fast tracked assessment of low-risk applications and timely assessment of all other applications.
- Planning Scheme reduced levels of assessment and typically no application requirements for changes of use in existing commercial centres, dual occupancy development and industrial uses.
- Easy-to-access planning information on Council’s website.
- Reduced car parking rates for residential development in the Bundaberg CBD and business activities in the Bundaberg CBD and Childers and Gin Gin town centres.
- Rates relief on undeveloped lots. Developers receive a 40% reduction in their valuation, with no minimum general rate until the parcel is developed or ownership changes. Council calculates the general rate using the reduced valuation.
- Ongoing master planning of key development areas and provision of trunk infrastructure that facilitates new opportunities as well as improving service to existing residents.
If you need help or advice about your development project or to find out how we can help you, please contact Council's Development Group.