The Department of Planning recently undertook consultation on proposed new administrative arrangements for the special infrastructure contribution in Western Sydney. These arrangements, once finalised, would also be used elsewhere, including the Hunter and the Illawarra.
Our submission identified some significant concerns with the proposed arrangements. Briefly, some of the most serious policy issues were as follows:
- The post June 2011 levy amounts are too high.
- Arbitrary levy changes are foreshadowed.
- The rates have not been indexed in accordance with the proposed index formula.
- The exemptions of the SIC levy must be broader and should include non-government schools, non-government childcare centres, place of worship and a wider range of retail shopfronts and intense employment-related development.
- There are problems with the definition of “net developable area”. Requiring a deferred payment to be made 20 days before settlement will create financing problems.
- The levy for industrial land has been increased.
- Deed of charge may conflict with landowners obligations to their first or second mortgagees.
- he Department needs to ensure that the process it uses to reach agreement with developers is clear and that there is no risk of a successful legal challenge.
The full submission is available here.