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Water tanks mandatory

By Dan Sowden

Water tanks mandatory – delays and cost hikes inevitable

The State Government’s recent decision to extend the mandatory water tank policy around Queensland will come into effect from 1 July 2007 with the decision inevitably affecting water tank availability and housing affordability in regional Queensland.

Master Builders Director of Housing Policy, Peter Osterhage said the announcement means 5,000 litre rainwater tanks connected to toilets and washing machine taps will be mandatory for all new homes in Queensland where development applications are lodged after 1 July 2007.

“From 1 January 2007, water tanks become mandatory for 24 councils in south east Queensland – this recent change applies the policy to the remainder of Queensland with the exception of Atherton Shire Council, Douglas Shire Council and Mt Isa City Council.

“Councils outside of south east Queensland were given the opportunity to apply for an exemption with Atherton, Douglas and Mt Isa the only councils to be granted exemptions at this stage.”
Master Builders expects this decision will have a substantial affect on water tank availability and will also see a decline in housing affordability.

“If you are currently planning to build a new home and a development application is yet to be lodged, the mandatory water tank policy will apply from 1 July 2007.

There is no doubt this decision will affect the supply of water tanks in Queensland – particularly in regional areas.

“We urge all home owners to be prepared for some extra lead time as a result of the new policy and discuss the longer timeframes with their builder to avoid disappointment.

“We also expect housing affordability in areas outside the south east corner to be affected. Since the introduction of the mandatory policy from 1 January 2007, home owners in affected south east Queensland areas have seen a rise in overall building costs of approximately $5,000 to $8,000. This increase covers the installation of a water tank and connections to toilets and cold water tap of washing machines as well as associated pumps when required.

“Home owners should also be aware the government rebate on water tanks only applied to existing homes and not to new homes – which means those building a new home once again bear the burden of additional costs.

“In short, home owners throughout regional Queensland need to be aware of the mandatory policy and the affects it will have on the new home market – particularly the rise in associated costs and delays during the building process.”

Source: Sunshine Coast

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