$400,000 boost for Redlands tourism and investment

Redland City Council has boosted incentives to attract more tourism accommodation and investment to the city.

It follows keen interest in building new places for visitors to stay in the City and last year’s adoption of a five-year tourism action plan which sets out how the tourism industry and Council can work together to increase visitation and tourism spending.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council voted at today’s general meeting to increase by $400,000 the incentives available through its Cleveland CBD and tourism accommodation incentive packages.

“Since the incentives were launched 18 months ago, we have received eleven development applications for tourism accommodation and apartments, with another one pending,’’ Cr Williams said.

“It shows incentives such as development application fee concessions are working in generating investment opportunities and jobs for Redlanders.

“They are also helping to fill a big void in the City, with the lack of tourist accommodation a barrier to fulfilling our potential as a great destination for overseas and domestic tourists.’’

Cr Williams said the uptake of the concessions indicated strength in the local construction and accommodation sectors.

“Council is keen to make the most of that opportunity,’’ Cr Williams said.

“With the original stimulus all but expended 18 months ahead of schedule, this move will capitalise on the momentum we have already generated and ensure that we can not only attract visitors to the Redlands but provide quality places for them to stay.

“Projects that these initiatives have helped attract to the city include a $14 million extension to the Alex Hills Hotel that is due to start construction early this year.

“In addition to refurbishing the hotel this project will also include 40 accommodation units that can be used for people attending functions or conferences.  This will enable the Redlands to host conferences and events, which will deliver real economic returns to the city.

“Two tourism accommodation projects proposed for Waterloo Street have also accessed the incentives.  These two projects would result in 7,767 square metres of vacant city land being transformed into vibrant, new accommodation and commercial precincts.”

The Redlands’ Tourism Accommodation Incentives Package was endorsed by Council in July 2014 to stimulate investment and construction in tourist accommodation, including B&Bs and tourist parks, outside of the Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek Priority Development Areas.

Council’s City Planning and Assessment spokesperson Cr Julie Talty  said the package supported the Redland City Tourism Strategy and Action Plan 2015 – 2020, which was informed by tourism industry feedback and Council’s Open for Business policy and Economic Development Framework.

“Our tourism action plan, which was adopted unanimously by Council, depends on us meeting tourism industry needs and capturing opportunities as they arise,’’ Cr Talty said.

“The extension of our incentives package ensures that we are ready for those opportunities.’’

Division 2 Councillor Craig Ogilvie (Cleveland, North Stradbroke Island) said the CBD development incentives program was aimed at attracting educational, health and aged-care enterprises and well as tourism accommodation to Cleveland.

“The incentives will continue to be on a ‘first come, first served’ basis to support developments which are of community benefit and which are consistent with the Redlands Planning Scheme and outcomes envisaged by the Cleveland Master Plan,” he said.

“It must also be demonstrated that they will be substantially completed by 30 June 2018.’’