State Government tight-lipped on levies

THE State Government will neither confirm nor deny it plans special infrastructure levies on property owners in south-east Queensland greenfield development areas originally fast-tracked under a housing affordability strategy.

Infrastructure agreements remain unfinalised for Caloundra South, Greater Flagstone, Yarrabilba and Ripley Valley which are now classified as Priority Development Areas, seven years after they were announced by then Premier Anna Bligh.

In 2012, Sunshine Coast Council identified an infrastructure shortfall of more than half-a-billion dollars for Caloundra South in an agreement signed between Stockland and the Newman Government.

Despite nearly three years of negotiations involving the State Government, the council and Stockland - which has consistently stated there is no shortfall - the matter is unresolved.

A spokesperson for Planning Minister and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said this week that Economic Development Queensland was continuing to work closely with relevant local authorities to secure infrastructure agreements for the PDAs.

"Once fully developed, these four areas will be home to up to 340,000 people so it is important the infrastructure requirements are properly considered, costed and delivered," the spokesperson said.

They failed to answer: "Can the Government confirm it plans Special Infrastructure Levies on those developments?" in relation to the PDAs.

The council has estimated a $940 annual charge on every Caloundra South property over 49 years to fund a $360million liability, or $1478 a year over 49 years if the liability was $560million. Alternatively a rate increase of 4 to 5-9% would be required on every Sunshine Coast ratepayer for 35 years.

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