Developers have more time to get projects off the ground under the updated policy.
Developers have more time to get projects off the ground under the updated policy.

Key CBD development zone extended in exciting move

Developers now have three years to commence work on projects and multiple dwelling developers will have further incentive to build in the Rockhampton CBD area after an improved Development and Incentives Policy came into effect on January 1.

The policy change comes as Advance Rockhampton moves to develop a new Economic Development Plan for the region this year.

In the Rockhampton Regional Council Ordinary Meeting on December 8, it was moved to approve the new policy to apply through to December 31, 2021, ahead of the previous policy expiring on December 31, 2020.

This policy had been in place since May 15, 2018.

The policy provided for a concession of up to 75 per cent of infrastructure charges and

project facilitation for eligible land uses including medical, health and community services; destination tourism facility; educational and training establishment; aged care and retirement facility; farm stay accommodation; and the resources sector.

“These six economic sectors strongly rely on the region being an important regional service

centre,” it was noted in the officer’s report.

“It is important to note that this policy is an incentives policy concentrating on sectors/area

that may not be developed if the incentives were not in place.

The report outlined how, since the first version of the policy was introduced in 2013, 25 developments had benefited from the incentives at a cost to RRC of $1.846 million.

“It has helped incentivise proponents to make investments and create economic growth opportunities in the region that may not have been possible without this policy,” the officer noted.

The area which has been extended and is now supported under the new policy.
The area which has been extended and is now supported under the new policy.

The report outlined how, in the coming year, Advance Rockhampton intended to develop a new Economic Development Plan to identify sectors of the regional economy upon which Advance Rockhampton would focus upon in future years.

Interestingly, the report noted Advance Rockhampton had identified a potential market interest in constructing multiple dwellings, such as apartments, flats, units and townhouses, in the area bounded by Victoria Parade, North, Alma and Fitzroy Streets.

The initial policy included a 50 per cent concession of infrastructure charges for the City North Cultural Special Use Precinct – an area bounded by Victoria Parade and North, Alma and Cambridge Streets.

The new policy extends this by two blocks, between Cambridge Street to Fitzroy Street.

“Accelerated densification of the area bounded by Victoria Parade and North, Alma and Fitzroy Streets may lead to the bringing forward of some water treatment plant upgrades that

will need to be strategically planned for council funding,” the report noted.

Another major change to the policy was the time frame developers were required to commence supported projects once approved by council.

This has been extended from one year, to three.

“The new Policy will provide flexibility to act quickly upon new economic growth opportunities for the region. It concentrates on sectors that we would like to attract to the region or are currently lacking in the region,” the officer noted.

“While the risks involved in refining and extending the Development Incentives Policy have

been identified it is considered that the future revenue and economic activity is a positive for

the region.

“It will also enable council to align this Policy with its new Economic Development and Action Plans following adoption in 2021.”