The Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, the Honourable Cameron Dick MP unveiled the Queensland State Budget that addressed the cost of living, delivery of services in health, housing and community safety for Queenslanders.
Key Budget Highlights:
The 'Big Build' Infrastructure Investment: a total of $89 billion over four years, is earmarked for the 'Big Build' infrastructure program. This ambitious initiative is expected to generate approximately 58,000 jobs in the fiscal year 2023-24.
Social Housing: Recognising the importance of social housing, the budget allocates $1.1 billion in increased funding to drive social housing delivery and supply.
Housing and Homelessness Support: Over $250 million has been allocated for housing and homeless support services. Of note, the introduction of Built-to-rent (BTR) land tax and stamp duty-related concessions for eligible developments aiming to provide affordable dwellings at discounted rents is a notable inclusion in this budget. This initiative commenced on 1 July 2023.
Cost-of-Living Relief: The budget introduces a $1.6 billion Cost-of-Living Relief package, providing substantial concessions equivalent to $8.2 billion for households and businesses across Queensland. This relief aims to alleviate financial pressures for Queenslanders.
Olympic and Paralympic Games Infrastructure: A provision of $1.9 billion over four years is designated for the commencement of venues infrastructure for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Additionally, an extra funding of $100.3 million over four years, along with an annual allocation of $13.6 million, is reserved for Brisbane 2032 activities.
Cost of living support
Recognising the challenges posed by the rising cost of living, the Queensland government announced a record $8.224 billion in concessions will be provided to Queensland families and businesses, marking a more than 21% increase compared to the previous fiscal year.
As part of the electricity bill support package:
Every Queensland household will automatically receive a $550 Cost of Living Rebate on their electricity bill, with vulnerable households benefiting from a higher $700 rebate.
Eligible small businesses in Queensland consuming less than 100,000 kilowatt hours per annum will receive an automatic rebate of $650 on their electricity bill in 2023-24.
Other support and relief packages encompass various areas, such as education, healthcare, and community well-being include:
$645 million over 4 years for 15 hours per week of free kindy for all 4-year-olds
$70.3 million over 4 years to increase assistance to regional patients through the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme
Up to $150 for eligible children aged 0 to 4 years for learn-to-swim activities
$2.7 million over 2 years to extend and expand school breakfast programs in areas experiencing hardship across Queensland
$315,000 to provide grant funding to Foodbank to deliver critical food relief
Land Tax and Stamp Duty-related Concessions: Build to Rent (‘BTR’)
To strengthen Queensland’s housing availability and affordability, the Government has announced a proposal for tax concessions on BTR developments. The proposal is in line with similar concessions for BTR developments in New South Wales and Victoria. However, Queensland's proposal stipulates that at least 10% of constructed dwellings must be offered at a discounted rate (rent is to be at least 25% below market rate) to eligible tenants.
The tax concessions for Build-to-Rent developments include:
50% reduction in the taxable value of land for land tax, for land used solely or primarily for an eligible BTR development.
100% reduction in the taxable value of land for land tax foreign surcharge, for land used solely or primarily for an eligible BTR development.
100% discount on any additional foreign acquirer duty (AFAD) for land for development of—or land containing—an eligible BTR development.
The initiative commenced on 1 July 2023 and applies to build-to-rent properties in Queensland that contain at least 10% of rental dwellings as affordable housing. The tax concessions will be made available for a maximum term of 20 years or until 30 June 2050 (whichever comes sooner).
To be eligible for this concession, the following must be met for the 12 months leading up to the relevant land tax year:
the development will need to become operational between 1 July 2023 and 30 June 2030, this includes newly constructed or substantially renovated developments from a non-residential purpose;
the development comprises of at least 50 dwellings (additional requirements apply for staged developments), whilst providing at least 10% of the number of dwellings in the development at discounted rent to eligible tenants;
the certificate of occupancy for the build-to-rent property is obtained between 1 July 2023 and 30 June 2030;
met the discounted rent housing requirements – where tenants are offered an eligible residential tenancy agreement (fixed term agreements with a 3-year term option) and the rent payable is at least 25% less than market rate (that is, comparable to the dwelling having regard to the size, quality and amenities of the dwellings);
the tenants in the affordable housing dwellings must be Australian citizens or permanent residents and meet income and asset tests;
the development is used solely or primarily for residential purposes;
apply by the 30 June ending the second land tax year after the eligibility requirements have been satisfied for the first time;
declare each year that the land continues to satisfy the eligibility requirements to retain the concessions going forward;
In the case where the BTR development is owned by more than one owner, none of the owners are entitled to a specific part of the land that any of the other owners were not entitled to;
All the dwellings were managed by a single entity. The exemption may still apply where the other entity is a registered community housing provider;
the dwellings are available to the general public.
Note: Developments that are already operational on 1 July 2023 (e.g. existing BTR or build-to-sell developments) and renovations of existing residential facilities (e.g. hotels) will not be eligible.
Foreign entities that seek an exemption from AFAD will need to satisfy the BTR development eligibility requirements for at least five years before transferring ownership. This includes transfers between related entities.
An application form for the BTR Concession will be available in 2024, when the land tax concessions first become available.
If you’d like to discuss the changes outlined in this article and what they might mean for you, please contact our office for a private consultation.
Queensland - Property Law Reform 2023 - Seller Disclosure and Impact on Leases
On 25 October 2023, the Queensland Parliament passed the Property Law Act 2023 (New Act), a significant legislative overhaul aimed at updating the property laws in Queensland.
VICTORIAN 2023-2024 BUDGET: Key Changes and What You Need to Know
The Victorian 2023-2024 budget has brought forth substantial changes in its tax obligations and thresholds, heralding a new fiscal landscape for taxpayers in the state.
NSW BUDGET 2023 – 2024: Key changes and what you need to know
In NSW, if you are acquiring more than 50% of a private company or a unit trust that holds land (directly or indirectly) over the value of $2 million, landholder tax is applicable to the acquirer.
Australian Capital Territory Budget 2023-2024
The ACT Government delivered its Budget on Tuesday, 27 June 2023 and announced changes to rates and thresholds for betting operations tax, conveyance duty, lease variation charge, utilities network facilities tax and payroll tax.