Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey.
Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey. Mike Knott BUN200219JACK2

Council cash incentive on backburner amid new stimulus plan

COUNCIL-SPONSORED housing grants aimed at stimulating the local building industry have been put on the backburner for the time being, but they're not off the table.

In November last year, Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey announced an investigation into a house builders' incentive that would see the council funding $5000 to $20,000 for each new-built home.

"If the cost-benefit analysis deems it viable, we'll look to implement this as part of the next council budget," Cr Dempsey said at the time.

The council's budget, announced last week, did not make an inclusion for the particular incentive.

However, the council did announce the Building Bundaberg Region plan, a multi-million dollar suite of measures to support construction, jobs and economic development.

"The Mayor wrote to the Prime Minister and the Premier last year, advocating for assistance to stimulate new housing construction," Organisational Services portfolio spokesman Steve Cooper said.

"It was great to see both governments contribute substantial amounts as part of their COVID-19 response.

"Council looked at housing construction grants as part of the new Building Bundaberg Region package, and took into account that state and federal governments have offered $45,000 in combined grants."

The council considered offering housing construction grants for new home construction but concluded this would deliver minimal benefit while State and Federal Government schemes are offering $45,000 in combined grants.

"The Building Bundaberg Region package provides a wide range of incentives which will deliver significant benefits to the development industry," Cr Cooper said.

Cr Cooper said the concept of housing grants was not entirely off the table.

"We'll look at housing grants again in the future based on need at the time," he said.

Cr Dempsey said the current package aimed at boosting housing and development was working hand-in-hand with state and federal incentives.

"Our stimulus package targets other areas of the construction industry such as commercial and industrial sites and unit development to complement the state and federal measures," Cr Dempsey said.