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Communities could subsidise elite schools

News Release

Friday, 22 April 2016

Communities could subsidise elite schools

Ratepayers would subsidise the construction of elite private schools in Queensland under moves to ensure non-state schools are able to dodge paying infrastructure charges.

The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has opposed the move, saying it would shift more costs on to councils and their communities.

The Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resource Committee’s report on the State Government and Private Member’s Planning Bills recommends making non-state school providers exempt from infrastructure charges “where the development is undertaken through Ministerial designation”.

“The net result is a cost shift that would leave local communities subsidising the elite private school sector,” LGAQ President Margaret de Wit said.

Under the government’s capped infrastructure charges regime, the LGAQ estimates that councils already subsidise developers more than 30 per cent of the actual cost of infrastructure, representing a funding gap of about $309 million a year.

The Committee was told that the proposal to extend the infrastructure charge exemption to non-state schools in the State Government’s Bill was an administrative oversight, a claim challenged by the LGAQ.

The LGAQ fully supports the State Government’s Planning Bill provisions, which do not exempt any designated private infrastructure from infrastructure charges, but strongly opposes the Private Member’s Bill provisions, which extend the exemption even further to include other designated privately-owned developments such as aged care facilities, private hospitals, and private sports and recreation facilities.

Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006


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