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Published On: Tue, Nov 16th, 2010

Likes of Robina may not be seen again

MASSIVE retail precincts such as the newly expanded Robina Town Centre might be a thing of the past on the Gold Coast, thanks to crippling council charges.

Shopping Centre Council of Australia executive director Milton Cockburn said unless the Gold Coast’s charges on development were reduced “we might not be seeing more projects like Robina”.

The $1 billion Coomera Town Centre project is a case in point, he said, with developers Westfield facing a possible $140 million bill on infrastructure.

“Infrastructure charges are far in excess of the actual impact of the development at the moment,” Mr Cockburn said.

“(Developers of the) Coomera (project) are battling with council through those charges.”

Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke confirmed the figure had been quoted to Westfield.

Mr Cockburn said significant economic benefits flowed through to the community from developments like Robina Town Centre, Coomera Town Centre and the possible $400 million redevelopment of Pacific Fair.

In employment alone, Robina Town Centre delivered 2300 jobs during construction and 265 extra people are now employed at the expanded complex in retail positions.

The council scheme that dictates how much developers will pay for government works associated with projects is the Priority Infrastructure Plan scheme.

PIP charges are designed to cover the costs of transport, water supply, wastewater, stormwater and recreation facilities.

Humphreys Reynolds Perkins Gold Coast director David Ransom said Robina Town Centre was not subject to the charges as it had its own Act, but Coomera Town Centre and Pacific Fair projects would be hit by the PIP regime.

“Any non-residential developments like shopping centres incur a high transport charge under PIP, on the basis the development creates demand for vehicles,” he said.

Westfield spokeswoman Julia Clarke would not say how much the company had been quoted for the Coomera Town Centre, but admitted infrastructure charges were a worry.

A formal development application for the shopping centre has not been lodged.

Story Featured in the Gold Coast Bulletin by Lucy Ardern and Jessica Elder   |  November 5th, 2010

About the Author

- Glenn Batten is the Principal Licensee of First National Real Estate Upper Coomera which provides residential property sales and property management services throughout the Northern Growth Corridor suburbs of Upper Coomera, Coomera, Pimpama, Willow Vale, Ormeau and Oxenford.

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