While it is still early days, it is clear to me that our industry is adjusting quickly to the circumstances of COVID-19. A “new normal” appears to have set in, with large sections of the industry working remotely and communicating through online conferencing apps. Over the past month, I have seen two general trends with the development industry:
Firstly, there are those who are hitting pause on projects and consolidating to see what eventuates over the short to medium term. Then there are many others who are seeing the next 3 to 6 months as an opportune time to get on the front foot, lodge and obtain development approvals so that they are ready to pounce when the market bounces back. As many of you will know, it can typically take anywhere between 12 and 24 months to be construction-ready on a new development project. Hitting pause now simply prolongs these time frames and may result in putting you well behind the competition.
There are also unprecedented government incentives and policy changes that are providing support for the development industry during this time.
For example, the Sunshine Coast and Noosa Councils have recently adopted policies allowing the deferred payment of infrastructure charges.
Project Urban is working closely with the Sunshine Coast Council to ensure that the deferred payment of infrastructure charges will apply to the maximum range of development types.
The state government has also amended Queensland’s planning legislation to allow any person to seek relief from existing development approval conditions or other operating constraints through an application to the state for a temporary use licence. If you need more information on these policy changes please give us a call.
While there are operating constraints to our traditional working environment, it is clear to me that the industry and authorities have already adjusted to a new normal. The majority of Project Urban staff are now working remotely. We continue to communicate directly each day with industry colleagues as well as state and local authorities. Just as we had pre-pandemic, applications continue to be lodged and approvals continue to be issued.
The pandemic will pass. And when it does you will want to be in a position to capitalise.
For more information about deferred payment of infrastructure charges and other support measures offered by state and local authorities, please contact Project Urban on 5443 2844.