Redland City Council has established an investment arm to generate income that will help fund infrastructure and services and minimise rates hikes.
Council financial services spokesman Cr Mark Edwards said the wholly council-owned subsidiary Redlands Investment Corporation’s (RIC) charter was to gain best value from surplus Council land and spur investment to benefit the Redlands community.
“Redland Investment Corporation is about realising the best possible value from some surplus land and giving those dividends to Council to provide better infrastructure and services for the community and put downward pressure on rates,” Cr Edwards said.
“It’s not about selling off surplus land to make a quick dollar.
“Council has worked hard since the 2012 election to contain costs of living and rate increases in a climate of rising costs and reduced revenue from other tiers of government.
“We have to be honest though and the fact is if we do not find new revenue streams the obvious consequence is to significantly raise rates – and we want to avoid that.
“Establishing council-owned investment arms is a tried and proven way to better manage surplus land, provide financial dividends to Council and relieve the pressure on general rates.”
Cr Edwards said RIC would enable Council to work smarter by actively engaging with the business community to kick-start the right type of local projects and better manage some surplus Council land.
“Until now, Council only had two options available to it to manage surplus land: secure it and maintain it at a considerable cost to ratepayers, or sell it as is,” he said.
“This has resulted in some land being sold for bargain prices and purchasers handed all the benefits from up-valuing the land.
“Now through Redland Investment Corporation, the dividends from up-valuing some of Council’s land through obtaining development and environmental permits and business licences before sale will return to Council as a new revenue stream.
“In Cleveland and Capalaba Central Business Districts alone, Council has about four hectares of underutilised land. With the centres in need of investment and rejuvenation and the community in need of jobs, Redland Investment Corporation will work to spur the right type of investment in these areas.”
Cr Edwards said RIC would also manage the development of Redlands’ two Priority Development Areas, at Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek.
“This will ensure the Redlands community will receive the best possible deal in new infrastructure and upgraded public spaces from the preferred developer Walker Group as Redland Investment Corporation’s directors are expert business negotiators,” he said.
Redland Investment Corporation Chief Executive Officer Peter Kelley said the company will be led by Chairman Philip Hennessy, a businessman with 40 years’ experience.
“Mr Hennessy has worked as Queensland chairman of international accounting firm KPMG and sits on the board of the University of Queensland, MetroCoal Limited and Mater Hospital Foundation,” Mr Kelley said.
“He has considerable experience in driving good governance and maximising returns from non-performing assets, so will serve the corporation well.
“We have just opened expressions of interest for builders and developers interested in working with us and I encourage all reputable enterprises to apply.”
For more information visit the Redland City Council website.