May
04

“OPEN FOR BUSINESS” CHARM OFFENSIVE PLANNED TO BRING DISGRUNTLED VICTORIAN DEVELOPERS TO GOLD COAST

The Surfers Paradise skyline could be joined by more towers if a proposed campaign to drawn in southern investors goes ahead. Photo: David Clark

THE Gold Coast will roll out the red carpet to supertower-building Victorian developers furious over tight new Melbourne planning restrictions.

Development industry figures are proposing a major nationwide advertising campaign to attract cashed-up southern state builders disgruntled over new regulations which could halt that city’s high-rise boom.

New regulations were announced yesterday would bar developers from being able to proceed with mega towers unless they agreed to pay for major public benefit infrastructure as social housing or parks.

The move was introduced by the Victorian Government to prevent “overdevelopment” of the city centre but a chill on the southern market could be the Gold Coast’s gain according to development industry figures.

Steve Harrison says the Gold Coast could pick up developers upset about changes to Victorian development policies.

Developer Steve Harrison, who played a key role in securing the light rail’s second stage, is pushing for a campaign to advertise the city’s credentials as an “open for business” location in a bid to attract new investors.

“Word of mouth is one way to do it by getting people like Bernard Salt to talk about what is happening here but the other way would be some sort of advertising campaign.

“This is something the council, the state or tourism could be involved in to get the message out there and partially funded by industry.

“We need everyone to know this is the time and the place to invest.”

The Victorian planning controls which were brought in yesterday replaced interim measures introduced last September which had already sparked concerns from the development industry that it would be hindered by the new order of things.

The Gold Coast Bulletin last week revealed that a new wave of southern investors had turned their attention to the Gold Coast on the back of a $6 billion construction industry boom.

The key drivers attracting them to the city included a positive vibe about jobs growth ahead of the Commonwealth Games and the council removing bureaucratic red tape for planning applications.

Meanwhile, moves to change the rules governing high-rises in central Melbourne was yesterday declared an “assault on confidence” by the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s Victorian branch.

The UDIA’s Gold Coast president Finn Jones said the Glitter Strip would welcome any southern developers hoping to invest in the city.

“The Gold Coast is an attractive place for them given the value of properties on offer here, lifestyle and climate,” he said.

Finn Jones says the Gold Coast is attractive to southern investors. Picture: JERAD WILLIAMS

“When you have all those things lining up I think there is great potential for us to welcome developers from the south here.

“We definitely could benefit from this situation because we have a new planning scheme which tales about go-zones for development, a positive council, growth of the city and a great culture for building.”

Some developers, including major Sydney based player William O’Dwyer of Ralan Group have even tipped the best is yet to come for the city.

Mayor Tom Tate he would work with the development industry to grow it while balancing amenity.

“I am happy with our new City Plan and will continue to work with the industry here on the Gold Coast to get the balance right,” he said.

(Source: April 27, 2016 5:51am Gold Coast Bulletin)