Thursday, June 20, 2024

Toowoomba to update city’s development incentives policy to attract new business

Toowoomba Regional Council’s (TRC) Economic Development Committee has today recommended updating the Temporary Toowoomba CBD Development Incentives Policy.

Toowoomba Region Mayor and Economic Development Committee chair, Paul Antonio said the recommendation would extend the date by which eligible developments needed to be substantially started by around 18 months to December 31, 2022.

Toowoomba Region Mayor, Paul Antonio.

Mayor Antonio said the policy was aimed at encouraging larger-scale quality new development and investment across the CBD and the Toowoomba Railway Parklands Priority Development Area (PDA); especially for the adaptive re-use of heritage-listed and former industrial buildings and sites.

“Council is planning for well into the future to ensure we have the basic infrastructure to service future development and support the expansion of inner city living,” Mayor Antonio said.

“The policy offers infrastructure charges discounts for qualifying developments of up to $1 million per project, out of a total pool of $3 million, for projects that align with the objectives of the Toowoomba City Centre Master Plan.

“Council’s City Centre Master Plan, which was adopted in 2010, has been the catalyst for a range of public and private investments; including laneway development, public realm, parklands and public art.

“Council will continue to progress projects that are identified through the City Centre Master Plan. This year we are preparing a new Toowoomba City Centre Action Plan 2032 that will outline priorities for the next 10 years to create a more vibrant and attractive city centre.

“We will support and invest in the growth of the Toowoomba CBD, including the Railway Parklands PDA, by working with land and property owners, developers, investors, government and professional advisors.

“I’m positive that we can realise the full potential that is outlined in our strategic plans by working in partnership and collaborating across the public and private sectors.

“The wider Toowoomba CBD, incorporating the existing Toowoomba Hospital and PDA, is a major employment hub and a key contributor to our Region’s economic growth.

“The CBD’s significance extends far beyond our Region. It is an important regional centre for many parts of southern Queensland and northern New South Wales across retail, professional and financial services, entertainment, healthcare and education.”

Mayor Antonio said private investment would be a vital ingredient in the progressive development of the Railway Parklands PDA.

“The April 2019 opening of the $10 million heritage-listed Railway Goods Shed refurbishment project, jointly funded by the Queensland Government and Council, marked the completion of Stage One of the Toowoomba Railway Parklands Master Plan and the wider Priority Development Area,” Mayor Antonio said.

“Council’s longer-term vision is for an urban village to help cater for the projected population growth in coming decades, as outlined in our City Centre Master Plan. This includes high quality parklands surrounded by mixed-use development to encourage inner city living and recreation activities and venues.

“The Toowoomba Railway Parklands site is an excellent example of urban renewal and will provide a significant economic development opportunity for businesses from Victoria Street north to Bridge Street.”

The committee recommendation will be considered for adoption at next Tuesday’s (17 August) Ordinary Meeting of Council.

The Toowoomba CBD and Railway Parklands PDA is the area covered by the Toowoomba City Centre Master Plan (TCCMP).

The area is framed from the Toowoomba Hospital to Bridge Street and from West Street to Hume Street. The Railway Parklands PDA covers a geographic area from Russell Street to Bridge Street and Mort Street to Ruthven/Ann Street. It is located within and is part of the TCCMP area.

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