Incentives for new retirement and aged care

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk will implement new incentives to attract more inner suburban aged care facilities to meet the challenges of providing for an ageing population and help secure the future of the city’s ageing residents.

The new incentives include reducing development infrastructure charges by 33 per cent for a three year period similar to the successful measures that led to about 1,000 new hotel rooms and 5,000 new student accommodation beds in recent years.

An additional two storeys will be allowed in medium and high density locations where best practice design standards are met and Council will consider proposals in privately owned sport and recreation areas but only where a clear community benefit is incorporated into the facility.

Cr Quirk said the range of incentives included future amendments to City Plan 2014 that would offer a more streamlined approach to extending or upgrading existing aged care and retirement living, as well as providing greater opportunities and better design outcomes for new facilities.

“The reality is we can’t just have our retirement villages and aged care facilities on the outskirts of the city – that’s not meeting the needs of our ageing residents,” he said.

“It’s important that people should be able to retire and go into aged care in the areas they are familiar with, where they have their social structure and friendship, their shopping precincts and the medical and other professional services available to them.

“Many of our suburbs provide housing options for younger residents and families and we are looking to provide more accommodation options for our older local residents, so we are not left with the perverse situation where retirees do not have the facilities to stay in Brisbane.

“In the past six years there has been an average of less than 1,000 new aged care rooms and retirement units – over the next 12 years there is a forecast average annual increase of 3,600 persons that may require dedicated retirement or aged care accommodation.”

There were just 49 development approvals from 2010-2015 that delivered a combined 5,159 new aged care rooms, retirement units and aged care rooms. The current 70 plus population of Brisbane is 90,080 and projected to increase by 50 per cent to 2027.

Cr Quirk said Council had already made planning changes to help aged residents stay in their neighbourhoods such as increasing the permitted size of granny flats, but would go further.

“There is a strategic and growing need for these facilities in our city to cater for an ageing population. Revisions to the City Plan will include a new code specifically for assessing aged care and retirement living development applications, encouraging co-location with other uses such as churches and medical facilities and revising some levels of assessment,” he said.

“The industry will be expected to meet best practice design standards including stronger open space requirements and greater connectivity with the surrounding community.

“These new incentives will allow Brisbane residents to remain in accommodation that is accessible to public transport, shops, healthcare and family.”