Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lord Mayor wipes fees to boost hotel development

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk
has announced a three year moratorium on infrastructure charges for new four and five star hotel development in a bid to encourage much needed construction of new stock.

Cr Quirk today announced four initiatives as part of his blueprint to encourage economic development and create jobs to continue growing Brisbane’s $114 billion economy.

“These announcements are just the beginning. Creating jobs and boosting Brisbane’s economic development is a priority for me and my Administration is doing all we can to boost confidence, hope and opportunity,” he said.

“Brisbane is a destination of choice for business, investment and major events but we don’t have enough hotel rooms with no new CBD hotels for over a decade.

“I am placing a three year moratorium on Council infrastructure charges for new four and five star hotel developments in Brisbane that will be backdated to 1 July, 2011 but construction must commence within two years of approval.

“This is the most practical way that Council can help boost development together with being flexible by allowing mixed use developments incorporating hotal accommodation."

The announcements follow recommendations announced last week by the Lord Mayor’s Economic Development Steering Committee that were developed in consultation with over 200 Brisbane businesses.

Cr Quirk said he would advertise for a Chief Digital Manager within the next fortnight.

“This person will encourage businesses to explore digital solutions and opportunities and advise Council on opportunities that lie in the digital economy for local businesses,” he said.

Cr Quirk said $595,000 had been allocated over three years for the introduction of the Brisbane Greeters Program that will encourage volunteers to welcome and take visitors on short walking tours specific for visitors to the city.

He also announced the establishment of a voluntary worldwide Brisbane alumni and city ambassador network to sell Brisbane abroad.

“The first round of inductees will be our International Student Ambassadors who are about to return home to their families and friends and tell them about Brisbane,” he said.

“They will be enabled agents for our city who will help promote Brisbane as a place to work, study and invest,” he said.
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