This week, the Queensland Greens are set to introduce the “Make Developers Pay” bill in Parliament, aiming to remove the State-imposed cap on infrastructure charges for developers. They are also calling on the LNP Brisbane City Council to scrap its infrastructure charge reductions and ensure developers ‘contribute fairly’ to essential projects.

Council infrastructure charges are set by the State Government and relate to the delivery of transport, stormwater, public parks, and land for community facilities[i].

Greens MP for Maiwar Michael Berkman said there is a direct link between Labor and the LNP’s ‘deals for developers’ and underfunded public services and infrastructure. 

“The Labor State government and LNP Council are running a protection racket for developers, and that’s got to stop.

“Councils should have flexibility to charge developers for the real cost of building infrastructure as land values and construction costs rise.”

“This Bill is a line in the sand. It’s time big developers paid their fair share.” Michael Berkman, Greens MP for Maiwar

Michael Berkman MP

Greens candidate for Mayor Jonathan Sriranganathan says developers are making massive profits from the boom in house prices. 

“I don’t think it’s too much to ask them to chip in for the cost of a couple of pedestrian crossings.”

“The LNP are giving developers a massive tax cut, and ordinary residents will ultimately have to pay for it.”

“If we want public infrastructure investment to keep up with development and population growth, we have to remove the State-imposed infrastructure charge cap.”

According to the Greens, research indicates that these charges typically impact developers rather than homebuyers, reducing their profit margins. They argue that this is why developers oppose such charges.

In 2011, the Labor State government introduced a cap on how much councils can charge developers, but the Greens argue costs of land and infrastructure have grown faster than the cap, leaving Councils struggling to keep up. 

In addition to pushing for the removal of the cap in state legislation, the Greens are advocating for the Brisbane City Council to repeal its tax cuts for big developers.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner announced his Housing Supply Incentive Policy in August, and it was passed by Council in October. The plan offers incentives to developers by reducing infrastructure charges and relaxing height and car parking requirements. The changes primarily apply to inner-city and high-density zones, especially those near shopping centres and the inner city. The plan was criticised by local community groups when it was introduced for transferring responsibility for infrastructure costs from developers to ratepayers. 

“Giving discounts to big developers won’t make housing more affordable – they’ll just pocket the extra profit. Instead, we need to build cheaper publicly owned homes, freeze rents and stop developers hoarding vacant land,” Mr Sriranganathan said.

The Greens’ Trina Massey was the only Councillor to vote against the changes to infrastructure charges made by Brisbane City Council. The changes included a 100 per cent permanent reduction of infrastructure changes for registered community housing providers (CHPs), and both the LNP and Labor have criticised the Greens for voting against this concession to the community housing sector.

A Greens spokesperson told the Westender that the party supports the reduction of infrastructure charges for CHPs. However, they say the reduction in charges to big developers was “cynically packaged up with their changes to infrastructure charges for CHPs”.

“The real problem for community housing providers is that the Labor State government is starving them of grant funding, which is how they fund their projects. Our view is that the State government, which funds community housing providers, should contribute to the safe pedestrian crossings, parks, libraries and services that any new residents in those homes will need.” 

“The Australian Greens secured an additional $3 billion in direct funding for CHPs and state governments through negotiations on the HAFF bill, but beyond that we believe that what we really need is a mass build of public and affordable housing.” [ii] 

Community groups in West End and South Brisbane have long argued that revenue raised in their neighbourhood by Council should be spent within that neighbourhood.

The Greens say they will announce more details on their plans for infrastructure charges in Brisbane City Council in the coming weeks. 


 [i] Urban Utilities applies separate infrastructure charges when a development assessment is approved and payable when the new development is connected to the water and wastewater network. These charges cover providing new or upgraded water and sewer infrastructure to cater to this new growth.

[ii] Two cheers for the HAFF, Insider, 13 Sept 2023,