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Seeney promises project review

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney  will be in Toowoomba today.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney will be in Toowoomba today.

THE State Government has promised there is no way it would allow approval of Caloundra South to impose additional rate rises on Coast property owners.

The Daily revealed yesterday that the development may come with an unmet bill of up to $600 million needed to meet the demands of Caloundra South's 50,000 population for regional infrastructure.

Detailed analysis is under way to determine the extent of the financial liability, which council puts at somewhere between $360 million and $560 million.

It estimates general rates would need to increase between 4% and 9% for 30 years to meet the liability.

Alternatively if the unmet costs were $360 million, a special levy of an average $940 per year for 49 years would be required against Caloundra South home owners.

At $560 million the 49-year levy would cost $1478 per year.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said he did not want a fight with Sunshine Coast Council.

Developer Stockland also said yesterday that it was "keen to sit down with the council".

Stockland said it wanted "to understand and address their specific concerns about infrastructure".

Mr Seeney said he had arranged a meeting for the next two weeks to go through the numbers.

Stockland said it was "absolutely committed to delivering infrastructure to benefit the future Caloundra South community and the Sunshine Coast region".

"Our master plan approval requires us to directly pay for the infrastructure, rather than imposing the cost on council to be recovered in headworks charges," a spokesman said.

"Our infrastructure investment, as outlined in the approved master plan, will be well in excess of the State Government's infrastructure guidelines.

"Our capital expenditure in infrastructure for Caloundra South will be in excess of $700 million which is in accordance with the conditions of the master plan approval."

Logan City Council has taken Supreme Court action claiming the Urban Land Development Authority had acted in developer Lend Lease's commercial interest in approving Yarrabilba - of similar size to Caloundra South - at the expense of ratepayers.

The matter is listed for preliminary hearing in Brisbane today.

"I want a three-way meeting," Mr Seeney said of the planned discussions which will involve Stockland, council and government.

"I'm determined to get a negotiated agreement," he said.

"There is no way I would allow the ULDA (approvals) to impose additional rate rises."

Mr Seeney said if necessary there remained "plenty of opportunities to impose further conditions on the development".

Mr Seeney challenged industry claims reported in the Daily that Stockland would pay only just under $8000 a lot in infrastructure charges compared with $27,000 for other new development projects.

He said the real figure was more than $40,000 a lot with the ULDA approval requiring the expenditure of $880 million on the 21,000-lot development.

Topics:  caloundra south, infrastructure, jeff seeney, queensland government, rates, stockland, sunshine coast regional council


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