Friday, April 26, 2024

Murray River joins planning rule change opposition chorus

Murray River Council has added its voice to the local government sector’s statewide fight against changes to planning rules which could see growing communities miss out on the local infrastructure needed to support increased housing.

Mayor Chris Bilkey (pictured) said the NSW Government had yet to back down on proposed rule changes impacting infrastructure contributions by developers, which he said would see critical funding designed to support infrastructure for local growth funnelled into State coffers instead.

“The proposed Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Infrastructure Contributions) Bill 2021 is an absolute kick-in-the guts to our community,” Mayor Bilkey said.

“Infrastructure contributions are made by developers to Murray River Council as a critical co-funding measure for footpaths, cycleways, parks, playgrounds, playing fields, skate parks, basketball courts, and libraries – even street lighting, stormwater and drainage facilities.

“The rule changes proposed by the NSW Government would mean that developer contributions will be transferred to either the NSW State Government to redistribute across the state, or into a regional fund with no guarantees that our Council would receive funding back to complete the capital works projects that our ratepayers require.

“This means that developer contributions in Murray River Council will bypass Murray River Council and go straight to State Government coffers.” with no guarantee the money will be spent in our area, despite our community having to shoulder the burden of increased development.”

“Our residents deserve to have a say in how planning rules impact on them, particularly if we are then left to shoulder the burden of increased development.”

Mayor Bilkey said a ‘Say No to The Contributions Cash Grab’ campaign was being rolled out through NSW’s peak body for councils, Local Government NSW, across the state through social and mainstream media.

“Councils across NSW have already passed motions condemning the move and I am pleased to say we are adding our voice to the fight,” he said.

“We cannot and will not let the Government cut communities and councils out of the picture, and I encourage locals to add their voice to the fight too.”

Council is encouraging local residents to make their opposition to the proposed changes to developer contributions known by contacting local member Helen Dalton MP and calling on the State Government to scrap the proposed rule changes.

“Council needs to be heard loud and clear that our community will not stand for funding to be taken away from our towns and spent in other areas of NSW.”

“Our critical community infrastructure is the very reason our communities survive and prosper. Let’s keep it that way and make our voice heard for this Bill to be scrapped in its entirety,” Mayor Bilkey said.

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