June 23, 2022
Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) will extend three economic development incentives to foster the development of aged care facilities, new industries and greenhouse horticulture in the Toowoomba region.
The extensions were approved at TRC’s June Ordinary Meeting on Thursday after being recommended by the Council’s Economic Development Committee.
Mayor Paul Antonio said Council was pleased to continue the policies to offer incentives aimed at boosting growth across the region’s towns.
“The Temporary Economic Development Incentives for District Townships policy is designed to offer incentives for establishing long-term accommodation, particularly retirement and residential care facilities across the region,” he said.
“Council will offer up to $1 million per financial year for this incentive program in a bid to drive development across a range of business, industry, essential services including vets and medical care services, and residential applications.
“These types of development will be eligible for consideration for a reduction in infrastructure charges.”
The Mayor said health services are not only the largest employer across the region, but often a major – if not the leading – employer in towns.
“Council feels it is timely and appropriate to extend these incentives to help people stay in their home districts where possible,” he said.
“There has been strong growth in residential care services and social assistance services across the region in recent years and Council is keen to see a greater uptake of this incentive policy to meet this demand and cater for other business activity.”
Mayor Antonio said a two-year extension (to June 30, 2024) would also be offered for applications under the Temporary Economic Development Incentives for Non-Residential Development policy to lower the cost of industrial development.
He said this incentive program, which was introduced in late 2020, was designed to encourage the creation of new industrial lots and/or industrial development.
Growing the region’s industrial base will stimulate employment growth and economic activity, particularly as a response to boost the recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic.
Similarly, Mayor Antonio said the Temporary Economic Development Incentives for Intensive Horticulture policy recognised its importance in the future growth of agriculture.
“Council has identified high technology greenhouses as a sector that will bring new opportunities and will have a positive economic impact, particularly on regional areas,” he said.
“By extending this policy until June 2025, Council is assisting prospective investors, who typically have a longer lead time around their investment decisions.
“We have seen the emergence of intensive horticulture operations in recent years and I’m confident this incentive will encourage others to realise their plans.”
The policy has an annual cap of $1 million, with $3 million for the policy’s duration.
It will apply to to development approvals in approved areas of Yarraman, Goombungee, Crows Nest, Hampton, Meringandan, Gowrie Junction, Kingsthorpe, Oakey, Jondaryan, Cecil Plains, Top Camp, Vale View, Wyreema, Cambooya, Greenmount, Nobby, Clifton, Pittsworth, Millmerran, Gowrie Mountain, Kulpi and Haden.
Thirteen applications have been approved for a total of $484,000 in discounts since 2019.