July 30, 2019

What The 2019 QLD Budget Could Mean For Toowoomba Property

Regional areas, small business, healthcare and better infrastructure are all big winners from the 2019 Queensland budget.

But how will the Palaszczuk government’s investments impact the Toowoomba property market?

Investing in the future of Toowoomba

Following the Labor party’s surprising capitulation at the federal election, Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad placed a major focus on regional areas in her state budget. The comprehensive Building Our Regions program received a $70 million investment bump – up to $515 million – while there’s a “regional payroll tax discount of 1% for businesses that have more than 85% of their workforce outside the south-east corner”.

But what about Toowoomba? Residents are likely to see a number of major investments over the coming months and years, many of which will play a positive role in boosting the region’s current property market.

Plans are in place to design and construct a replacement neighbourhood centre to deliver community services in the suburb of Wilsonton – receiving a $371,000 cash injection over 2019-20.

Elsewhere, three major high schools will receive generous windfalls to help fund refurbishments, expansions and new facilities in order to accommodate growing student populations, with Toowoomba State High School ($5.7 million), Harristown SHS ($1.9 million) and Centenary Heights SHS ($929,000) all recipients.

The state government will also spend $12.4 million out of a total $18.5 million pool throughout 2019-20 to support major upgrades for Toowoomba Hospital. A new police facility in Newtown will also be constructed from state budget funds that amount to just under $1 million.

Jobs for the Darling Downs will attract more residents

In order to attract more people to the garden city, and therefore allow for more properties to be built, better prices for sellers and overall greater infrastructure, the Backing Jobs for Darling Downs campaign is set to pour billions into improving the region.

The Toowoomba Range capacity and clearance upgrades will receive $77.3 million, while upgrades to the New England Highway near Toowoomba will collect a $9.3 million total spend.

For the arts, the Palaszczuk government has committed $57,000 to maintain the famous Cobb+Co Museum, installing air conditioning and fire services to protect the iconic destination. It’s hoped that these upgrades will deliver powerful tourism outcomes for not just Toowoomba, but the wider Darling Downs region.

More students thanks to additional TAFE funding

In addition to major investments in three Toowoomba high schools, the state budget has also delivered a massive win for higher education.

The Minister for Training and Skills Development recently announced a $1.68 million investment for Toowoomba TAFE for “ongoing campus revitalisation” to ensure “students have access to modern, state-of-the-art training facilities [and become] the skilled workforce for the jobs of the future in the Toowoomba region”.

An important note on land tax

Toowoomba homeowners, investors and those looking to buy have a lot to get excited about following the state budget’s release. However, one drawback for foreign or long-term absent landholders is the land tax increase.

Companies that own land with a value greater than $5 million will soon pay an additional 0.25% in land tax, while the land tax absentee surcharge will jump up to 2% (from 1.5% previously). Treasurer Trad insists this decision is down to the “federal government’s cuts to GST” and says any land tax increases will be repealed should Queensland’s “fair share” of GST be returned.

Things are looking up for the Toowoomba property market

With market conditions cooling right across Australia, Toowoomba real estate has enjoyed the honour of being something of an outlier, with prices in Middle Ridge, for example, set to grow despite a drop in housing prices in many other parts of the state.

If you’re looking to take advantage of all the positives from the state budget, contact an experienced local agent today and get your real estate plans in action.

Article by Joanne Rowe

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