Urban Taskforce Chief Executive, Tom Forrest, today gave fulsome support to the NSW Government’s decision to defer the payment of both state and local infrastructure levies till the completion of the project.
“Urban Taskforce led the industry’s calls for changes to the NSW tax infrastructure levies taxation system and today the NSW Government has acted on those calls to support jobs by deferring the payment of local and State infrastructure fees till the completion of projects.
“These infrastructure levies had previously been paid up-front, prior to the start of works on a construction project. This was a significant impediment for many projects. When the Urban Taskforce met with the Minister for Planning and highlighted the practical impact of levying fees up-front in the context of COVID-19, Rob Stokes immediately took note. Today, he has acted”, Mr Forrest said.
Mr Forrest said that where fees had not yet been paid, today’s decision would see levy payments deferred from Construction Certificate (before works commenced) till Occupation Certificate (the completion of construction works).
Legislation was passed in the most recent sitting of the NSW Parliament to give the Minister the power to defer payments. Both the Government and Opposition deserve congratulations for this.
“Following consultation with Councils, the Minister has used his new powers and has acted. This is great news for investors, for jobs and for workers in the construction industry.
“Any up-front tax was a blockage to progress, to investment, to employment. It was a barrier at a time when we needed barriers to be removed. That is exactly what we have seen today. At a time where there is not a lot of great news, our industry is united in saying well done to Minister Robert Stokes”, Mr Forrest said.
Other changes announced today to speed up and improve the operation of local and regional planning panels were also supported by the Urban Taskforce.
“The NSW planning system was coming from a very low base at the end of 2019. But credit where credit is due, the NSW Government has responded well. The key will be to make changes to the culture of the NSW Planning system to ensure the system becomes an agent for jobs, housing and investment”, Mr Forrest said.