The NSW Government’s Infrastructure Contributions Reform Package had been released for public exhibition today, aimed at building a simple, clear and consistent infrastructure contributions system to unlock up to $12 billion in productivity gains for NSW.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said it is critical to reform the way local infrastructure is funded to attract jobs, investment and boost housing supply.
“These reforms will ensure that roads, parks, drainage and other infrastructure to support local communities are delivered faster and more efficiently,” Mr Stokes said.
He said the reforms will create a better system to deliver the infrastructure needed for liveable communities.
“They’ll help councils borrow and use funds to speed up the delivery of projects, and they’ll shine more light on planning agreements to increase transparency.”
Mr Stokes said the reforms are the result of extensive consultation with experts, councils and industry, and respond to the NSW Productivity Commission’s review into infrastructure contributions.
Property Council of Australia’s Western Sydney Regional Director Ross Grove said now reforms package had been released, the supporting Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Infrastructure Contributions) Bill 2021 should be passed as a matter of priority.
“When the Legislative Council voted to defer passage of the Contributions Bill, it was to facilitate the release of supporting regulations and planning instruments. Now this information is available, the Bill needs to be passed,” Mr Grove said.
“The contributions framework in NSW is an inefficient mess. Contributions are costly, complex, hard to predict and adds time to a process which already makes construction and development a difficult ask.
“The current contributions system is difficult to understand for all parties, and involves a lot of behind-closed-doors negotiation for development approval. The proposed reforms bring contributions into the light so residents, councils and developers can all have confidence and clear understanding of the system.
The proposed reforms include:
- Giving councils more control over what type of local contributions plan they choose to apply to new developments;
- Creating a separate and consistent Regional Infrastructure Contribution collected by the State Government to be applied in Greater Sydney, the Illawarra Shoalhaven, Lower Hunter and the Central Coast;
- Requiring owners who benefit from their land being rezoned for development to contribute towards the provision of land for local infrastructure when their land is either sold or developed;
- Greater transparency to make it easier for communities to access and understand Planning Agreements; and
- Incentives for councils to fund infrastructure upfront, allowing them to borrow and pool their funds.
People are encouraged to read and have a say on the Infrastructure Contributions Reform package by 10 December 2021.