Financiers 'essential for developers'

PROPERTY developers in the Tweed region should bring financial institutions into their planning operations early to avoid “the wrecking ball” of economic swings from boom to bust.

That is the warning from retired master planner Geoff Burchill, who will emphasise his point at a planning conference in Surfers Paradise later this month.

Mr Burchill, who survived the property crashes of the mid-1970s, early 1980s and early 1990s, said Tweed had a bright future for growth but developers needed to get financiers on side early.

“Otherwise it's going to be harder to avoid the excesses of easy money when it comes again in boom times, ending with the harsh slug of working capital not being available for the long lead times required in the development process,” Mr Burchill said.

“It's time that financial institutions were invited to work more closely and much earlier in any significant property planning strategy, to avoid some of the past mistakes about how money is used.”

It was important for planning professionals to understand the harsh realities for development business throughout the cycles, Mr Burchill said.

And it was just as important for those working in local councils to take boom/bust lessons from the past, to avoid the bad impacts they can bring to the community at large, he said.

Mr Burchill said he was amazed at how so many smart people in property investment and development today could allow themselves to be thrashed so badly time and time again, when some study of past mistakes could teach what could be done to reduce the risks.

“Property cycles are about money being used badly,” he said.

“Councils and state governments must also understand that booms are temporary and there are harsh realities when they inevitably end.”

Mr Burchill will join Murwillumbah-based Industry Central developer Peter Mitchell and 14 other speakers at the Turning Point 2010 development industry conference at the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort Hotel on August 27.

The conference is being organised by Sustainable Development Gold Coast. For more information go to www.sdgci.com.au



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