Queensland is open for business and is the place to invest and build as the nation looks to recover from the COVID-19 economic crisis.
This is the message the Queensland Treasurer and Planning Minister Cameron Dick and Queensland councils want investors who may be experiencing challenges in other jurisdictions to know.
“The State has been working hand in hand with local government to ensure there are no roadblocks standing in the way of construction as they chart a pathway forward following this unprecedented global pandemic,” Mr Dick said.
“We have been doing the heavy lifting to ensure private investment is unlocked to provide the critical jobs boost this state needs to emerge from this pandemic stronger.
“Whether it is through direct stimulus into industry or through hardship support to impacted businesses we are laser focused on fast tracking economic activity and, importantly, jobs.
“Queensland has led the nation with its planning and development approval system, and we have not seen any failure to meet timelines during COVID-19.
“We have also worked hard to make sure that our planning system evolves to respond to the challenges of COVID-19 with e lodgement and other legislative changes to expedite these processes.”
“Our pipeline of activity is already flowing with more than 130 government projects, valued in excess of $3.8 billion, on track to commence construction over the next six months”
Local Government Association of Queensland President and Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson dismissed Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s suggestion councils may be hampering the country’s economic recovery by delaying major development.
“This sort of statement is ill-informed and does nothing to instil confidence in investors,” Mayor Jamieson said
“If you have money and you are ready to invest, you will not be held up in Queensland.
“Councils remain committed to working with all tiers of government to support the building and construction industry and the resurgence of local economies, through COVID-19 and beyond, by maintaining high levels of service delivery, managing risks to public health and safety and facilitating appropriate development outcomes within statutory timeframes.
“It is this focus and determination that gives investors the confidence and the certainty they need.
“We reject any suggestion councils are standing in the way of Australia’s economic recovery.
“The reality is that councils are on the front line working every day to keep their local economies functioning.
“They have been offering support to businesses and households experiencing hardship while also maintaining their own substantial workforces after being denied access to the Federal Government’s JobKeeper subsidy.
“Queensland councils have partnered with the Queensland Government to roll out much needed economic stimulus across the state to create more jobs.”
“It is partnerships like this that will see both our levels of government provide the stewardship needed across all industries to rebound as quickly as we can.
“We can create jobs fast through these types of activities, and probably more than any other tier of government, absolutely appreciate the value of private sector investment in doing likewise.”
“There is no evidence Queensland councils have stood in the way of jobs or that our planning decisions have impeded progress.
“What is true is that the Federal Government’s decision to exclude council workers from JobKeeper subsidy has meant that councils may have delayed some of their own scheduled capital works to keep local staff in jobs.
“What we need right now is further stimulus that targets real issues experienced by our councils and communities.
“We are very happy to discuss this further with the Federal Treasurer.
“Restoring local government’s seat on the nation’s policy decision making body, confirmed as National Cabinet going forward, would be a good first start.”