East Gippsland Shire Council has declared a Special Charge Scheme to help fund an upgrade to the water supply at the South Bairnsdale Industrial Estate and allow the precinct to reach its full potential.
The Special Charge Scheme, which was declared at last Thursday’s Unscheduled Council Meeting, will raise $400,000 to fund part of the project to ensure the volume, pressure and flow of water to the estate meet firefighting standards. The upgrade will make it cheaper and easier to set up a compliant business in large buildings on the estate.
Mayor Cr Mark Reeves welcomed the decision of Council and support of landholders in finalising this part of the funding for the project.
“This Special Charge Scheme is positive news for local businesses and investors. The upgrades it will fund increases the viability of establishing businesses that require large floor space on the estate and is projected to create as many as 178 local jobs,” Cr Reeves said.
The estate is currently made up of 173 rateable properties and owners were formally consulted on the scheme in September.
Cr Reeves said Council had also previously received representations from existing and potential developers advocating the need for a suitable fire protection solution for the estate to assist in unlocking investment into new and expanding businesses.
Currently, anyone wanting to construct abuilding over 500m2 of floor space within the estate is required, at their own cost, to install a private firefighting service. These costs are estimated to be between $50,000 and $150,000 each.
“Contributing via the special charge and leveraging off significant government and Council funding contributions, this outcome makes sense now and into the future in terms of safety, compliance, investment and bang for buck,” Cr Reeves said.
Properties smaller than 1,000 m2 or properties where there is already a building with a greater than 500 m2 floor area and where a fire system has been installed (compliant with the building code and Australian fire-fighting standards) will be exempt from the special charge.
In addition to the scheme, the $2.4 million project is co-funded by: