Council rejects struggling business owners plea for discount

THERE'S no sign the council will be changing its tune on infrastructure charges with two requests for a reduction rejected today.

One of those was from personal trainer Brett Newman who is facing a $24,000 bill after opening his business onToolooa St.

Mr Newman, a first time small business owner, can't afford to pay the charges and says the council should do more to support business owners - particularly given the current downturn in Gladstone.

HELP US: Before the elections personal trainer Brett Newman is called on the council to offer a discount on infrastructure charges for small business to help fight the economic downturn.
Personal trainer Brett Newman Paul Braven

But discounts on infrastructure charges, capped at $28,000 by the state government, are rarely offered as per the council's policy.

Although there have been some exceptions to the rule, namely the offer made to Stockland for a $400,000 discount on charges if works on the long awaited Kin Kora expansion start before the end of March. 

That offer was made on the basis the upgrade would create employment and the deal is therefore considered in the "best interests" of the community.

However there has been no word from Stockland on whether it will take the deal.

The second request for a discount related to a 20-bed hostel at Agnes Water.

While both requested were rejected there was clear division among councillors; the vote split on the last item five to four.

Read the council meeting agenda here.  

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