A national change means builders are required to pay 100% of the transformer cost of about $300,000, even if the full capacity is not being met.
A national change means builders are required to pay 100% of the transformer cost of about $300,000, even if the full capacity is not being met. Claudia Baxter

Not enough profit or certainty could slow our growth

THE region's development pace could be being halted with headworks and forward payments not giving developers enough profit or certainty.

Previously, when developers built new sub-divisions that required a power supply transformer to be connected they would pay for the power usage.

A national change means builders are required to pay 100% of the transformer cost of about $300,000, even if the full capacity is not being met.

It is only when the spare supply is utilised by surrounding developments that the developer will get a reimbursement.

UDIA Fraser Coast chair Glen Winney said that forward payment could affect future development.

"It's going to slow down and deter new green-fill (new sub-division) sites," he said.

Industry insider Douglas McCutcheon said the new agreement would "change the way developers do their projects".

"Potentially hundreds of new homes could be affected," he said.

Mr Winney also said developers were not getting a high profit due to the value of land in the region being "so low".

"Our end sale price is still fairly low compared to the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane," he said.

"But all of our costs to develop something is the same."

He said Brisbane builders could sell land for $400,000 and on the Fraser Coast about $150,000, while headwork fees were about the same at more than $20,000.

The WIN projects managing director said the Fraser Coast Regional Council's infrastructure incentives policy was "crucial" to advancing the region's infrastructure.

Currently the council offers a 45% discount for development completed prior to February 12, 2016, and a 20% discount if it is completed prior to February 2017.

A similar scheme in Bundaberg is due to finish next month.

Since 2013, 93 projects received incentives under the Bundaberg Open for Development program, which generated about $106 million worth of construction and created 606 jobs.

The Fraser Coast Regional Council hopes to emulate those numbers and secure infrastructure growth in the area.

"Council has reduced infrastructure charges to stimulate the economy," Mayor Gerard O'Connell said.