Gympie region’s development and construction boom has slowed recently.
Gympie region’s development and construction boom has slowed recently. Craig Warhurst

Building slump hits Gympie

REZONING and building applications have slumped substantially in the Gympie Regional Council area, according to information presented at this week’s council planning and development committee meeting.

But committee chairman Ian Petersen said it was the same everywhere else.

The slump which had firmly taken hold in many other areas had only just reached the resilient Gympie market, noted for steady performance rather than the boom and bust cycles of better-known investment locations such as the Sunshine Coast.

But Cr Petersen said the news was not all gloomy, with a slowdown taking considerable pressure off the council’s planning section.

The backlog of applications pending had dropped from nearly 400 to about one-third of that, he said.

“That’s partly because of the slowdown and partly because staff have done a really good job,” Cr Petersen said.

“They’ve really slipped into it.”

The reduced workload would also mean some savings for ratepayers, with council deciding not to fill extra planning section job vacancies which were in the budget but now not needed.

“You can see from the building approval summary that September figures this year show a big drop.

“There were 31 new dwellings valued at $7.34 million last month compared to 43 valued at $9.5 (million) in the same month last year,” he said.

“Planning applications have definitely tailed off.

“We’ve had a big drop in the Impact Assessable and Coe Assessable applications for material changes of use and reconfiguring of lots.

“Normally you would expect to find six to 12 in each of the four sections.

“Now it’s three or four.”

It is thought the reduced backlog should also result in developers receiving their approvals and title deeds more quickly than in recent years.

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