8 December 2011
Budget Estimates Committee hearings into the Planning and Infrastructure portfolio has resulted in a number of interesting statements being made by the Hon. Brad Hazard, Minister for Planning and Infrastructure. The Minister was questioned on the Governments targets for new greenfield and infill development, expressed as a percentage. The Minister advised that the Metropolitan Strategy suggests 70% infill and 30% greenfield targets for new development, however, the Minister said that he was not so preoccupied with that and that he thinks we need, as the Premier has said on a number of occasions, to look at encouraging more developments into the greenfield areas of Sydney because that is where the market is. When pressed, the Minister confirmed that he do not think the old 70:30 was necessarily the right mix.
The Minister did not actually provide a Government position on what is considered to be the right mix. However, the Minister did indicate support for the Premiers call before the election of a 50:50 allocation between greenfield and infill development.
Members may also recall statements made by the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure regarding the Governments willingness to consider proposals from owners with significant landholdings in greenfield areas for urban development. The Minister clarified his previous statements by advising the Committee that if there is anybody who has more than 100 hectares of land, within a reasonable cooee of trunk infrastructure”roads, sewerage, water and so on”then they should be talking to the Government about the possibility, even it is outside the lines on maps that were drawn by the Labor Party. I would say that if somebody wants to appropriately have infill development, we are supportive of them too”as long as it fits within probity and guidelines, come and talk to us.
The Urban Taskforce will be seeking clarification on these matters and will provide further updates.
Members who are concerned with development in greenfield areas would be aware that we supported the Governments decision to defer a scheduled 50 per cent increase in development levies. However, the deferment was only until 31 December 2011 pending a comprehensive review of infrastructure contributions in the Growth Centres of Sydney.
We have made representations to the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure seeking a further extension of the temporary deferral until the review of infrastructure contributions has been completed.
Members would also be aware that deferral of payment of the monetary contribution (SIC) for a subdivision in the Western Sydney Growth Centres is possible. However, the developer must give security by either a bank guarantee or a charge registered on title to the lot or strata lot to have the benefit of the deferred payment provisions.
If the option of a charge is adopted, the deed of charge must be in accordance with the Minister’s standard form, registered by the Registrar-General. We have requested a copy of this standard form and despite repeated requests; we are yet to be furnished with a copy. We will continue to follow-up on this matter.