Margaret Strelow: “Someone has to pay”.
Margaret Strelow: “Someone has to pay”.

The mayor defends the council's charges on infrastructure

AS developers line up to complain about infrastructure rates in the Rockhampton area, Mayor Margaret Strelow has defended the council charges.

She said the council was bound by state government legislation, and had been workshopping with councillors for the past few months to try and offer incentives to businesses in the area.

"Infrastructure charges are the real cost of our future infrastructure needs divided between the developers of blocks of land and new industries and extensions to existing businesses as they occur," Cr Strelow said.

"It's a real charge and someone has to pay - if it's not the developer then it is the ratepayer."

Cr Strelow said in the last meeting before Christmas, the council would decide whether to defer infrastructure charges for a few years to give developers the opportunity to build.

She has spoken to Local Government Minister David Crisafulli about the proposal and thinks it is likely it will be passed in council.

In previous years the council received a 40% subsidy from the state government's Capital Works Subsidy Scheme for infrastructure costs, with the remaining 60% divided between the developer and ratepayers.

In 2008 that subsidy was axed.

In July 2011 a maximum infrastructure charges framework was implemented which capped the amount the council could charge for infrastructure.

Cr Strelow said since they no longer had the subsidy, charges for developers had to increase to keep costs down for ratepayers.

She also said the council was out of pocket for infrastructure because of the cap.

Coming up

The state government is currently working on a new infrastructure charges framework to be in place from July 1, 2014.



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