In response to a request from the Property Council of Australia, Minister for Local Government and Planning, Nita Cunningham MP has written to Local Governments identified as having the highest development application fees.
The Property Council commissioned the report that identified key discrepancies between local government development assessment fees, particularly for certain retail and commercial developments.
In a letter to the Property Council, Ms Cunningham said she was seeking comments from the various local governments about the report and seeking advice about the methodologies used for setting fees.
These include the range of administrative functions the fees are designed to cover.
"The Property Council report represents an important basis for debate and continuing evaluation of the appropriateness and quantum of development application fees, and I congratulate your organisation on your continued and constructive contribution to the issue," Ms Cunningham said.
She stated that to establish that fees in some local governments were too high, basic costs of service provision would need to be established.
The structure of development assessment functions in the local governments, the administrative costs imposed through requirements of individual planning schemes, the cost of meeting any performance or efficiency targets established for development assessment functions by those local governments, and the proportion of cost recovery or cross subsidisation favoured by each needed to be to be established.
"All of these factors may legitimately affect the quantum of fees set by a given local government," she said.
"While I appreciate the seriousness of the Property Council's concerns about local government fess, I do not consider the report conclusively established the need for a widespread State Government inquiry into development assessment fees".
The Minister has promised to inform the Property Council of comments received back from various Local Governments in the near future.