Limit on new home levies a win for affordability and choice

04 June 2010

The Urban Taskforce has praised todays moves by the NSW Government to enforce its $20,000 per home cap on local council development levies.

The Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said that high local council levies were one reason that NSW was suffering a serious undersupply of new homes.


“Federal figures show that NSW has 57,000 less homes than the community requires.


Moves by the NSW Government to strictly enforce its cap on development levies will make the development of new houses with backyards much more affordable, Mr Gadiel said.


If this reform is accompanied by solid measures to cut planning red tape, we can expect strong interest by developers in re-starting major home construction in NSW.


Mr Gadiel said the states housing supply had been in serious decline throughout the last decade.


Ten years ago, NSW led Australia in home construction, he said.


Last year, NSW housing construction fell to a new record low for the fourth year in a row.


The states home construction has been trailing Victoria for five years, and trailing Queensland for four years.


Mr Gadiel said the situation has been untenable.


Todays decisive action to limit the burden of local council levies should be welcomed by anyone who is worried about housing affordability and housing choice.


Mr Gadiel said 20 councils had been exceeding the $20,000 per dwelling cap on local council charges imposed in 2008.


Generally speaking, these high-taxing councils cover the areas vital for our states future housing needs, he said.


Seven councils have been imposing a levy of $50,000 or more on new homes, including Yass Valley, Pittwater, Camden Council, Ku-ring-gai, The Hills, Hawkesbury and the Shoalhaven Council. Thirteen other councils are charging well above the state governments $20,000 cap, including Blacktown, Campbelltown, Leichhardt, Wyong, Liverpool and the City of Sydney.


Mr Gadiel welcomed news that there would be a new Land and Housing Supply Co-ordination Taskforce to implement the NSW Governments housing strategy, remove obstructions to the release of land and delivery of infrastructure.


Mr Gadiel also welcomed plans for Sydney Water to accelerate the provision of water infrastructure to selected precincts to deliver the early release of home sites to new residential lots in north west and south west Sydney.


Well be studying the detail of todays announcements carefully, Mr Gadiel said.


Nonetheless, it is clear that the NSW Government is today taking a major step forward to confront one of the states most serious social and economic problems.


The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australias most prominent property developers and equity financiers.


The construction activity made possible by property developers contributes $78 billion to the national economy each year and creates 849,000 direct jobs.



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