Government Promises consultation on infrastructure charges

16 October 2007

The State Government has today provided the NSW Urban Taskforce with additional information following from its announcement on infrastructure charges last Friday.

Weve been assured by the State Government that they will not proceed with any new development levies without proper industry consultation, Mr Gadiel said.


We welcome this assurance.


Taskforce Chief Executive Aaron Gadiel today said that the Taskforce had been seeking clarification of the governments position on a range of matters, including their attitude to infrastructure charges for development in existing urban areas.


In response a request from the NSW Urban Taskforce, the Office of the NSW Treasurer, the Hon. Michael Costa MLC has advised that:


Recently the NSW Government announced a new framework to calculate levies in Greenfield land release areas. Principles have been developed to narrow the list of items for which State and Local Governments can seek a developer contribution.


This will provide significant savings, for example it is expected levies will be reduced by $25,000 per lot in the Western Sydney Growth Centres. These principles will apply to Greenfield and Brownfield areas and will promote certainty, accountability and transparency. …


The Government will not seek new powers to impose levies on Brownfield areas.


The principles outlined last week are clear, there will be no cross subsidy between regions or types of development.


Developers have always been required to contribute to local infrastructure as a consequence of their development.


No change from current position will occur without consultation with industry.


Importantly, the money the Government has committed to Greenfield areas will be sourced from the Budget, not from a new charge on Brownfield areas.


Unlike Greenfield areas, Brownfield developments are already serviced by major state infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, and roads.


It is hard to see how the new principles could lead to costly economic or social infrastructure being required due to a Brownfield development being approved.


Previously Brownfield developments could have conditions of consent that mandated certain works be provided as part of a development approval.


For example, the conditions of consent for the development of the Channel 7 site at Epping mandate new road works, including traffic lights and roundabouts, as well as a childcare centre, public open space, and an electricity substation.


Other Brownfield developments have been subject to similar conditions.


From now on any such conditions will need to be consistent with the new principles.


Facilitating Brownfield development is essential for us to meet our targets in the Metropolitan strategy.


There are many views in the sector on how Brownfield development charges should be improved.


The Government is still considering its options but took the first step of putting councils on notice yesterday. No longer will section 94 plans pay for works that should be met by the rate base.


The NSW Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing NSWs most prominent and important developers, builders and property financiers. The NSW development industrys annual turnover is $35 billion and employs 180,000 people, accounting for six percent of the States total employment. It is the fifth largest contributor to the State economy.

Media Enquires:
Aaron Gadiel,
Chief Executive Officer,
Phone: 0417 477 904  or (02) 9238 3955

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