Saturday, April 13, 2024

Parramatta facing $433m funding shortfall under developer contribution plan

City of Parramatta Council says it could be left with a $433 million community infrastructure funding gap over the next 40 years if it is forced to adjust its draft plan to collect contributions from developers.

Despite assurances from the NSW Government, City of Parramatta Lord Mayor, Donna Davis said Council is likely to be worse off under the proposed state-wide development contributions scheme unless significant changes are made.

Council’s draft CBD Contributions Plan supports the Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal, which is currently with the NSW Government for finalisation and allows for more than 46,000 new jobs and 15,000 additional homes in the CBD alone.

“Greater Sydney’s success depends on Parramatta’s ability to fund and build the infrastructure our fast-growing community needs over the coming decades,” Lord Mayor Davis said.

“Our contributions plan is necessary to support the growth in jobs and housing being delivered in the CBD.”

Council’s CBD Contributions Plan, which was endorsed in 2021, estimates the City of Parramatta will collect $642 million from developers over the next 40 years to pay for community infrastructure in the CBD, compared to just $209 million under the NSW Government’s proposed rates.

“It’s not possible for the City of Parramatta to deliver these much-needed jobs and housing in the CBD without a corresponding and integrated contributions plan to sufficiently fund local infrastructure,” Lord Mayor Davis said.

“Council has spent many years working with the NSW Government, residents, landowners and developers to create a new planning scheme and contributions plan to ensure we have the money we need to build the bridges and boardwalks, community hubs, recreational facilities and other essential infrastructure for our residents.”

She said developers have long been aware of the plan and the market had already priced in the new rates.

“Council has been collecting contributions equivalent to the rates outlined in its own CBD contributions plan since 2017.”

In addition, the NSW Government has also flagged potential future changes to section 7.11 contributions – which are charged when there is a demonstrated link between a development and the infrastructure to be funded. If pursued, this could reduce money collected from developments outside the CBD by an estimated $193 million, limiting what kind of infrastructure can be delivered in suburban areas, the Lord Mayor said.

“It would mean that ratepayers will be left to foot the bill for community facilities and improvements to public domains and town centres, which are vital to support a growing number of workers and visitors to precincts outside our CBD.”

Lord Mayor Davis is calling on the NSW Government to include Council’s contributions plan in the new regulations and not make any changes to section 7.11 levies.

“Any reduction to contribution rates, as has been proposed by the NSW Government, creates significant risk of market uncertainty, handing value back to developers and short-changing our growing community when it comes to necessary local infrastructure.”

“Developer contributions are key to funding the necessary facilities and services our people need and I look forward to further discussing our proposal with the NSW Government,” she said.

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