Sunday, November 28, 2021

Infrastructure win for NSW councils

The NSW Government and Local Government NSW (LGNSW) have agreed on improvements to reforms of the infrastructure contributions system.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Rob Stokes said the changes to the package addressed issues raised by LGNSW and councils during extensive consultation.

“The changes we’re making will build a simple, fair, consistent and clear system for delivering infrastructure to support more homes and jobs across the State,” Mr Stokes said.

“I said that no council will be worse off under these reforms and we will continue to work with LGNSW and councils to make sure that happens.

“We all want the same thing – great infrastructure and more investment in our local communities. That’s what these reforms will deliver.

“I want to thank LGNSW President Linda Scott for her tireless advocacy on behalf of councils. She worked with me to make this a better package for the benefit of her community and others across NSW.”

The reforms will unlock $12 billion in productivity gains, create 2,600 jobs and attract new investment critical to the State’s economic recovery.

LGNSW President, Linda Scott, welcomed the NSW Government’s commitment working with her to make changes to the package. 

“The Minister has listened to the concerns of the local government sector and worked with local governments to make changes that address our concerns,” Cr Scott said.

“With the commitments made and changes to be made to the draft legislation, I am now confident that this is a package that will improve the infrastructure contributions system.”

Modifications to the package include:

  • Allowing councils that currently fund community infrastructure from developer contributions to continue to do so;
  • Ensuring that state contributions are spent in the region where they are collected;
  • Re-setting the blanket rate councils can charge, known as 7.12 plans; and
  • Increasing the maximum amount councils can charge for infrastructure associated with solar and wind farms.

The Minister will seek financial assistance for councils that can demonstrate cash flow problems due to directions about the payment of contributions at the construction certificate stage.

The Productivity Commissioner has confirmed that the changes to the package are consistent with the recommendations he made to reform the infrastructure contributions system.

Incoming councils will have until the week after their first ordinary meeting in February 2022 to make submissions on the policy package currently on public exhibition.

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