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12 August, 2020

Making It Easier for Small Business

Mums and Dads businesses will receive a boost today after Cairns Regional Council endorsed their measures designed to ease the way forward for small business in Cairns.

Free pre-lodgement meetings, a reduction of application costs and lower infrastructure charges are components of a new Council strategy to stimulate small scale development.    

Council today endorsed the COVID-19 Response – Investment Incentive Policy, which is aimed at supporting small scale development, such as those being considered by “mum and dad” investors, where infrastructure charges may be a barrier.

It is hoped the policy, which will be in place until 30 June 2022, will provide economic stimulus for the development and construction industries, and deliver added employment opportunities.  

The policy will give relief from the payment of infrastructure charges for development in key centre locations and for small-scale residential, commercial and industrial development.  

It is also hoped that the policy will encourage the reuse of existing infrastructure and tenancies, and looks to promote development in key locations such as the CBD, Gordonvale, and Babinda.

The policy is supported by a host of other services, including:

  • Free pre-lodgement meetings and written responses (not offered by other Councils),
  • Lower development application fees,
  • Lower infrastructure charges rates when compared to other Councils,
  • Expedited assessment for well-made dwelling house Development Applications,
  • Expedited extension requests for first time extensions, and
  • Dedicated specialist assessment team for large scale and CBD projects.

In 2018/2019, the construction industry was the second largest employer in Cairns with a fulltime workforce of more than 9,200 people, representing about 13.4 per cent of the city’s employment.

Notably, recent economic growth in Cairns can be attributed to the construction industry, which increased employment by 3,139 people over the three-year period from 2015/2016 to 2018/2019.

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