Infrastructure Charges payment deferral update: your thoughts

Councils across Queensland have been reviewing their infrastructure charging arrangements as an opportunity to stimulate development during COVID-19. We ask all members to provide detail on what you are seeing locally and what else could be done.

Some local governments have put in place arrangements that assist the development industry and ultimately home buyers.

Best practise that the Institute is aware of so far includes:

  • Infrastructure charges less than the charging cap – Livingstone Regional Council, Townsville City Council
  • Deferral of payment Infrastructure Charges – Fraser Coast Regional Council, Livingstone Regional Council
  • Deferral of Infrastructure Charges payment for some development types – Sunshine Coast Council
  • Examining use of infrastructure agreements for deferral of payments in Sunshine Coast Council
  • Allowing for small plan sealing lot releases as sales occur – Mackay Regional Council
  • Deferral of payment of Infrastructure Charges upon payment of a bond or guarantee – Toowoomba Regional Council.

The industry’s preferred arrangements defer the payment of Infrastructure Charges until to settlement of sold property thereby removing these substantial costs at the time of peak debt in a project assists cash flow for project employment.

These arrangements also include:

  • Waiver of Infrastructure Charges
  • Prioritising the plan sealing stage to ensure projects move through this stage as quickly as possible
  • Using electronic transactions as much as possible to facilitate plan sealing and titling.

Deferral of payment of charges need not significantly impact the local government’s bottom line only temporarily defer receipts.

The Institute also considers a complementary waiver of stamp duty for new buildings homes is also critical to address the gaps in the program particularly for construction for investors that make up a significant part of construction activity.

We would like to hear of good practices by local government in charging and plan sealing that can help home buyers get into their homes sooner. We will then develop a proposal and provide an update to members.

If you have any feedback or questions, please contact Policy Manager, Martin Zaltron.

Feedback? Email Martin