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Public Real Estate Development in Queensland: Local Government as Developers

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Public sector real estate development is common in many parts of the world such as the USA and the Netherlands. However, in Australia, the nature and extent of such development does not appear to be known. This article presents the results of an investigation into the extent and nature of real estate development by Local Governments in Queensland, a state where private sector values are often assumed to prevail. The study provides an overview of what types of real estate Councils have developed and how much they have developed over the last 10 years. Such development is widespread in Queensland with at least one-third of Local Governments having developed land. Councils often develop because of a perceived failure of the private sector to provide development adequately or as an entrepreneurial means of achieving public interest goals. However, there is also evidence that Councils are acting like private developers, acquiring land from the private sector and disposing it at open market values. There is an opportunity to learn from the experience of these Councils if local planning is to enter a more proactive approach to shaping urban outcomes.

Keywords: Local Government; Public real estate development; Queensland; land use planning

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: School of Environmental Planning, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia 2: Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, School of Urban Development, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

Publication date: 2006-06-01

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