Signs are good
  • Saturday 11 May 2013

Council’s changes to the way it handles planning applications appear to be working with marked improvements in a number of key areas.

Mayor Mark Jamieson released the encouraging figures today at the launch of the Sunshine Coast Business and Workstyle Expo at the Big Pineapple.

“In this council’s first budget we introduced changes to try and create the right conditions for investment and jobs – we now know they’ve worked,” he said.

“We scrapped fees for pre-lodgement meetings – the number of pre-lodgment meetings has increased by 34% - that’s a significant step forward in less than 12 months.”

Council also:

  • reduced application fees by 5% for all Commercial, Business and Industrial land uses
  • reduced application fees for seven selected land use types by 25% by means of a fee rebate when the use commences within 2 years
  • and boosted funding for economic development initiatives.

“That’s seen a 64% increase in Material Change of Use applications for the first part of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, and a 10% reduction in negotiated decision requests,” the Mayor said.

“These figures are supported by the latest annual Business Confidence survey which show business confidence in 2013 has increased by 8% against 2012 and 2011.

“There’s also been a 5% jump in businesses saying they will increase their spending significantly over the next six months.

“These are encouraging signs, but there is more work to do which is why council last month launched the Build and Benefit Scheme.

“Tens of millions of dollars in development could be unlocked by the new initiative which aims to get development approvals off the shelves and out of the ground.

"The initiative offers up to a 50% ‘reduction’ on Council infrastructure charges for targeted developments built to a deadline – and new incentives for old approvals.”