Mackay developer Charlie Camilleri with a stack of what he says are reports he needs to supply to Mackay Regional Council to get development approved on Sams Road. Picture: Melanie Whiting
Mackay developer Charlie Camilleri with a stack of what he says are reports he needs to supply to Mackay Regional Council to get development approved on Sams Road. Picture: Melanie Whiting

Why a Mackay housing developer is at the end of his tether

A Mackay developer has taken a shot at Mackay Regional Council, claiming bureaucratic red tape is holding up new housing projects across the city.

Charlie Camilleri said the council had asked him to do a stack of reports for his 29-lot planned housing development on Sams Road, North Mackay but the project was stalled.

Because he cannot get that project approved, Mr Camilleri said he had not been able to move forward with a 17-lot Sarina housing development.

"I'm at the end of my tether. I can't get traction," he said.

"At the moment, this council should be asking the people, how can we help you?"

Mr Camilleri's comments came after council data showed new residential dwelling approvals in Mackay had almost doubled in three years.

New house building approvals are projected to reach 545 for the 2020-21 financial year, compared to 287 in 2017-18.

But Mr Camilleri said while there had been a jump in housing approvals on existing land, the council was not approving new land for development.

Given Mackay's housing shortage crisis, he said the council should be "flooding the market with housing".

The council's development services acting director Teona Cousin said the Sams Road site was 3.4 hectares of vacant land zoned low density residential.

She said there were currently no material change of use or reconfiguration applications under assessment with the council for this property.

"An application to reconfigure the lot would need to be submitted to council to subdivide the land," Ms Cousin said.

"There is a bulk earthworks application under assessment for earthworks on the site, but this application is currently awaiting a response from the applicant to an information request."

Ms Cousin said new house building approvals had been increasing steadily in Mackay since April 2017.

"Annual new house building approvals saw a sharp increase in September 2020 and are projected to reach over 500 for the 2020 to 2021 financial year,'' she said.

"This will be the highest annual building activity since 2013-2014, increasing from a low of 202 in 2016 to 2017."

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Current housing approvals and construction activity is occurring on land already approved as residential subdivisions.

The council said the Mackay Region Planning Scheme had sufficient land zoned for residential purposes, in the form of low, medium and high-density residential and emerging community, to accommodate anticipated growth for more than 20 years - to the year 2041.

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