A new legislation passed recently in the Queensland Parliament will allow families in the state to have better access to affordable housing.

The Sustainable Planning (Infrastructure Charges) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014 is expected to resolve longstanding issues around infrastructure charges applied by local councils.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney explains that the new legislation would help create jobs, boost the economy and grow the construction industry as promised at the election.

After comprehensive consultation with local government and industry, the Queensland Government has found a way forward that will encourage development to occur across cities, towns and suburbs across the state, delivering affordable housing to Queenslanders and jobs in the development and construction industry.

The Act also provides for new funding avenues for local governments for priority infrastructure projects.

Mr Seeney said the Act introduces a ‘fair value schedule of infrastructure charges’ that reflects the cost of infrastructure required to allow new residential, commercial and industrial developments to take place. The schedule is generally 10 per cent lower for residential development and 15 per cent less for retail, commercial and industrial development than the regulated infrastructure charging framework.

He said councils who choose to observe the schedule can make an application to have key works identified as Priority Development Infrastructure that could potentially attract co-funding by the State. The Bill did not propose to adjust the regulated infrastructure caps that local governments can charge; however councils that chose not to adopt the fair value schedule of charges would not be considered for co-funding.

The Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning will continue to work with key stakeholders to implement these new reforms.