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Governmental savings offer reductions for public transport fees

By Greg Bell

The latest news from the Queensland government offers some financial reprieve for residents across the state, with the $30 million saving from the recently scrapped carbon tax being re-invested in the state's public transport system. This will reduce the costs of public transport for Queenslanders as a whole, offering some living relief and helping reduce the overarching cost of life in the Sunshine State. 

Premier Campbell Newman and transport and main roads minister Scott Emerson announced the enacting of the bill earlier this week (3 November), stating that the change is a major contributing factor to the overarching plan to help build up the strength of the state's economic strength and the sustainable rating of the region. This could be great news for owners of commercial property in Surfers Paradise who are interested in adopting a healthier, more carbon-friendly approach to business. 

The average weekday customer travelling from the Gold Coast to Brisbane for work – or vice versa – will now save up to $297 per year. This is a significant amount of money for those struggling financially, which equates to a few weeks worth of groceries or a number of petrol fill ups for the family vehicle. Mr Emerson said the plan was to tackle affordability and help deliver some of these savings back to the people living across the state. 

"The cost of living relief will continue and be even greater next year with no fare increases planned in 2015," said Mr Emerson, stating there were more plans to help further improve the reliability, affordability and frequency of the state's public transport system as a whole. 

"We have added 3,000 additional bus and train services a week, we are the most reliable metro rail network in Australia and will be delivering real-time information for customers across the TransLink network in South East Queensland." 

Tight rental markets highlight continued growth 

Furthermore, the south eastern Queensland region has seen the rental market remain tight over September, which could offer some insight into the movements of people living and working in the area. As the state's major tourism markets continue to experience huge boosts, the potential for commercial investment across the area could become a very real possibility. 

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland's (REIQ) chief executive officer Antonia Mercorella said that there were a number of steady and stable markets across the region, with a number of rental hotspots emerging across the state as well. 

"Logan and Ipswich are emerging as the southeast's rental hotspots as tenants move further afield from inner-Brisbane in search of more affordable rents. For the rent you'd pay for a three-bedroom house in Brisbane, you can get a four bedroom house in Brisbane's outlying areas for up to $65 less a week," said Ms Mercorella in a 31 October statement. 

Furthermore, the general trend seems to be a moving from Brisbane's high, tight market into the outer regions of the state. This includes areas like the Gold Coast, Fraser Coast and Cairns. As these movements into wider areas continue, they could offer some solid investment opportunities for commercial buyers in the future. 

"Population growth and a lack of investor activity are contributing to these tight conditions, particularly in hinterland areas where agents are struggling to find enough rental properties to meet demand. On the Gold Coast, rental conditions remain tight with a vacancy rate of 1.9 per cent at the end of September, with median weekly rents remaining stable over the September quarter." 

Now could be a great time to consider getting in touch with a local real estate agent and begin working towards finding your own Surfers Paradise investments today. 

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