Geoff McDonald. April 2020. Photo Bev Lacey
Geoff McDonald. April 2020. Photo Bev Lacey

TRC to draft temporary COVID-19 policy for developers

THE Toowoomba Regional Council will develop a temporary policy to provide relief for developers struggling with the economic downturn created by COVID-19.

Deputy Mayor Geoff McDonald moved the motion to start work on the policy at the first committee meeting of the new council term yesterday.

The council was debating a submission for a discount of infrastructure charges from a developer, who cited the COVID-19 outbreak as hurting the prospects of its approved 11-unit development on Bridge St in Newtown.

In arguing against the request for a discount, Cr McDonald amended the motion to ensure the council could work from a position of strength in the future.

"I caution council on going down a path that we haven't had a solid discussion on," he said.

"This does give us an opportunity to actually have a look at a temporary COVID-19 infrastructure charges policy.

"My suggestion would be to agree with the officer's recommendation, that council refuse, and that council consider a temporary policy at a future planning and development committee meeting."

The developer, Stokes Wheeler, was attempting to get a 50 per cent reduction on its $222,000 charges bill attached to the unit development's approval back in 2017.

The council denied the request, with Cr Carol Taylor highlighting the development approval was from well before the pandemic started.



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