Councils welcome LNP policy proposal to unlock critical housing supply

Published: 14th June 2024

The peak body for Queensland councils has welcomed a critical piece of the puzzle to address housing supply challenges in local communities across the state.  

Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) Chief Executive Officer Alison Smith said that a new policy proposal from the Opposition for a $2 billion fund to deliver trunk infrastructure was not only important to address housing supply shortages but could also take the pressure directly off ratepayers.   

“Queensland communities rely on councils to provide critical infrastructure like roads, parks and water and wastewater to keep pace with growth,” Ms Smith said. 

“You don’t have new housing if you can’t unlock this critical trunk infrastructure to support development.” 

Ms Smith said councils have been doing the heavy lifting to unlock residential lot approvals, with almost 100,000 sitting available across the state. 

“Councils can facilitate land, but they can’t activate construction. A fund to deliver trunk infrastructure is something councils have been calling for; however, they also want the true cost of infrastructure to be met.” 

New research conducted for the LGAQ and released in April this year revealed councils will have to cover a $2.2 billion funding gap without support from the State Government.   

“Solutions identified in our latest research included investment of $500 million a year for the next four years to support catalytic trunk infrastructure to unlock housing supply, as committed to by the Opposition today” Ms Smith said. 

The LGAQ also identified other key solutions to provide certainty for councils now and into the future, such as improving the fairness of the cap placed by the State Government on how much councils can charge developers to help deliver trunk infrastructure like roads, water and wastewater infrastructure. 

“The State Government’s cap on the dollar amount councils can recover from developers - for the trunk infrastructure that councils install - has been in place since 2011. It has not kept pace with rising costs, leaving councils to cover the bill," Ms Smith said.

"We continue to seek a policy solution to lift this cap on councils."

The LGAQ’s Vote for Local 2024 State Election platform called for a commitment to reinforce the planning authority of local governments and local land use decision-making through a new planning partnership, which has been acknowledged today by Opposition Leader David Crisafulli. 

“Queensland councils will always welcome opportunities to partner with the State, where local decision-making is not only protected, but enshrined through a strong planning partnership,” Ms Smith said.  

“Local communities deserve to have their say on planning the future of their communities and anything that reiterates this principle is always welcomed by our member councils.” 

Other critical commitments welcomed by the sector include: 

  • Reviewing regional plans, with councils, and aligning them with regional infrastructure plans. 
  • Fast-tracking state approval of planning scheme amendments put forward by councils. .  

For more information, please contact:
Dan Knowles, Media Advisor