Are you taking advantage of all the development incentives on offer?

To ensure our clients are maximising their commercial opportunities, we have collated the different incentives currently on offer for new developments across South East Queensland.

The below information is provided as a high-level summary. For additional guidance in relation to these incentive packages, please get in touch with us.    

Brisbane City Council

Brisbane City Council are currently offering:

  1. a 50% refund on Council infrastructure charges for qualifying residential and commercial Green Buildings approved between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2022. To be eligible the development must:
  1. obtaining a 5-star Green star rating from the Green Building Council Australia
  2. obtaining UDIA Envirodevelopment six leaf certification
  3. complying with the Buildings That Breathe Design Guide
  4. obtaining carbon neutral certification
  5. achieving a minimum green plot ratio
  • have no development offences committed to relation to the development under the Planning Act 2016
  • not have received a benefit under another development incentive of Council (i.e. infrastructure charges reduction for retirement and aged care)
  • lodge a request for the incentive between 1 July 2022 and 31 December 2023.
  1. a 33% reduction on Council infrastructure charges for qualifying retirement and aged care accommodation approved between 1 September 2016 and 31 December 2020. To be eligible:
  • the development must provide a quality living environment that is fit for purpose and provides design quality;
  • building work must have substantially commenced by 31 December 2021; and
  • prior to the development commencing, an infrastructure agreement must be entered into with Council.
  1. eligible community organisations a 75% reduction on Council infrastructure charges for an approval granted between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2022 up to a maximum of:
  • $40,000 for development approvals given between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2016; and
  • $45,000 for development approvals given between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2022.

Gold Coast City Council

Gold Coast City Council currently offers eligible not-for-profit entities a 50% discount on infrastructure charges and development application fees.  Any discount on infrastructure charges is capped at $50,000, per entity, per development, per financial year and no discount applies to water supply and sewerage infrastructure charges.

Ipswich City Council

Similar to Logan, Ipswich City Council offers incentives to encourage the reuse of existing non-residential buildings.  Specifically, they:

  1. the use does not result in any additional GFA; and
  2. the use does not impose significant additional demand on the existing network; and
  • offer a 100% relief from unmet parking requirements under the Planning Scheme, where a new use is proposed within an existing non-residential building and it is not practically achievable to provide the car parking onsite.The parking rates in the Planning Scheme do however apply to any additional GFA.

In addition to the above, Ipswich City Council also offers infrastructure contribution relief or exemption for non-residential development undertaken by community organisation.  Specifically, they offer up to 100% relief on the payment of Council infrastructure charges where undertaken by an eligible organisation such as:

  • a registered charitable organisation (i.e. Scouts and Girl Guides Associations, Creche and Kindergartens)
  • a religious institution
  • a private school in receipt of a subsidy under the Education (General Provisions) Act 1989 and affiliated with an approval Capital Assistance Authority under the Education (Capital Assistance) Act 1993; or
  • another non-profit organisation (including sport and recreational organisations) which provides a service to the community and does not normally have an income stream or is able to demonstrate their status as not-for-profit through an external source such as the ATO.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council

The Lockyer Valley Regional Council are offering a refund on infrastructure charges for material change of use developments issued prior to and including 17 June 2021 where:

  • the development has commenced within 2 years of the development approval taking effect;
  • all conditions of the relevant development permit have been satisfied prior to the commencement of the use;
  • all infrastructure charges have been paid; and
  • no development offences or enforcement actions have been committed to relation to the development under the Planning Act 2016.

The value of the refund depends upon the site’s location, type of development proposed and applies only to infrastructure charges payable to Lockyer Regional Council.  Varying between 12.5% – 50%, the refund recognises the lower returns on investment in the Lockyer Valley relative to major urban centres and the lesser demands on infrastructure resulting from development, particularly that which is located outside of the main centres of Gatton, Laidley and Plainland.

Logan City Council

Logan City Council also offers to defer the payment of infrastructure charges for up to 12 months for various types of development including:

  • 3.5 – 5-star hotels
  • All new mixed use development in the Beenleigh or Springwood Economic Development Zones (up to $1,000,000) provided it incorporates at least 1 shop or food and drink outlet on the ground floor and either:
  1. An office with a minimum GFA of 1,000m2; or
  2. An office with a minimum GFA of 500m2and a minimum of 10 multiple dwellings.

Moreton Bay Regional Council

Moreton Bay Regional Council have shown their commitment to encouraging development by extending their “incentivising infill development program” until December 2021.  Under this program, Council have agreed to refund all application fees paid and waive all Council infrastructure charges payable where the development is designed and finished to a very high standard and is for one of the following uses:

  • multiple dwelling (apartment form, minimum 20 units, at least 3 storeys in height)
  • rooming accommodation (student accommodation; minimum 20 beds; must contain a minimum 30m2communal recreation area and include an active onsite bona fide management)
  • mixed use development (must include a combination of residential and non-residential uses)
  • short term accommodation
  • retirement facility
  • residential care facility; or
  • office (containing a minimum of 2,000m2GFA)

and is located in one of the following areas:

Sunshine Coast Regional Council

Sunshine Coast Regional Council currently offer a 25% rebate on the Council application fees paid if works starts within 2 years of the date of approval and the development is for one of the following uses:

  • Health care services: residential care facility (high care)
  • Tourism: nature based, short-term accommodation (5-star or better facility), art and craft centre shop in a rural zone, tourist attraction in a rural zone
  • Rural: agriculture, environment facility, roadside stall, winery.

Sunshine Coast Regional Council also offers a 50% reduction in levied Council infrastructure charges for developments located within the identified Infill Incentive Areas at Nambour and Caloundra where:

  • they involve new building construction that will at least double the GFA of the premises (i.e. development that consists mostly of re-purposing an existing building will not be entitled to an incentive)
  • construction is substantially commenced by 30 December 2022; and
  • an application for the incentive is made in writing or by email and received by Council between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2022.

Lastly, Sunshine Coast Regional Council offers eligible community organisations up to 100% rebate on the payment of infrastructure charges where they are construct new or extended community service facilities.

Toowoomba Regional Council

To encourage economic development in its district townships, Toowoomba Regional Council have allocated $3 million over 3 years ($1 million a year on a first come, first served basis) until 30 June 2022, to offer the following discounts on infrastructures charges:

  • 75% discount on infrastructure charges up to a maximum of $50,000 per development approval for industrial activities
  • 55% discount on infrastructure charges up to a maximum of $50,000 per development approval for business activities or veterinary services
  • Reducing the maximum charge to $4,500 per residential dwelling, lot or accommodation suite where within the Rural Charge Area
  • Reducing the maximum charge to $14,500 per residential dwelling, lot or accommodation suite where within the Townships Charge Area.
Mia Hickey

Author Mia Hickey

Mia is the Director and Principal Town Planner at Hickey Oatley Planning & Development. Mia is a passionate and driven professional, who has experience leading a wide variety of planning and development projects, establishing a key expertise in the facilitation of major development projects from inception through to delivery. With her many years’ experience, Mia has developed an in-depth knowledge of the Planning Act and the commercial realities which underpin a successful project. Mia maintains a focus to continuing professional development and is currently a participant in the Property Council of Australia’s 500 Women in Property initiative.

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