The Property Council of Australia said today wholesale reform of infrastructure funding and delivery is needed following the NSW Government’s decision to excuse 24 councils from a promised cap on local infrastructure charges.
The Government has released a direction which details an initial list of councils exempt from the proposed local infrastructure contribution cap of $20,000 per lot.
Across the 24 councils covered by today’s direction, some areas will be allowed to operate to a cap of $30,000 and other areas will be completely exempt.
“Councils now need to act swiftly and release the backlog of development consents they have deliberately stalled,” NSW Executive Director Glenn Byres said today.
“But the resolution is clumsy and inefficient, and only serves as a reminder that the Government walked away from a sound reform package.
“The application of a higher cap and flat exemptions is a poor outcome for the property industry and future homebuyers. It represents policy on the run.
“The initial promise of a $20,000 cap and the delivery of greater independence, rigour and transparency in the composition of section 94 plans would have delivered certainty to the property industry and reduced costs for homebuyers.
“The opportunity offered to councils to apply for further exemptions in the future means the threat of higher and higher infrastructure costs will continue to undermine investment confidence in NSW.
“Today should not be the end of the debate about infrastructure charges in NSW.
“The NSW Government should immediately commit to engaging with the local government sector and the property industry and negotiate fundamental and positive reform to how infrastructure is funded and delivered across NSW.
“This should include serious consideration of how local government should be reformed to make it a more robust, financially sustainable and effective tier of government.”
Media contact: Glenn Byres, NSW Executive Director, 0419 695 435.