Property Council welcomes Roadmap to Contributions Reform

The Property Council welcomes the release today of the final Report of the review of infrastructure contributions undertaken by the NSW Productivity Commissioner, Mr Peter Achterstraat AM and the announcement by the NSW Government today that it will consult with the industry to develop a roadmap for implementation of the recommendations.

“We congratulate the Productivity Commissioner for leading this review and tackling this intractable issue head on in a challenging environment. There is no doubt the current NSW infrastructure contribution system is too complex, too costly and does not always deliver infrastructure when and where it is needed,” said NSW Executive Director, Jane Fitzgerald.

“Reform of infrastructure contributions is long overdue, and this review provides a unique opportunity to deliver important reforms especially in light of the current economic downturn and impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.

“In taking the Commissioner’s Report forward we need to ensure the balance is right; the need to pay for infrastructure needs to be balanced against the equally important objective of ensuring state taxes, levies and charges do not make good development and growth unfeasible or unattractive.

“In a post-COVID world we need to ensure that NSW is an attractive investment option and that the cumulative costs of contributions to local and State government do not act as a barrier to good development going ahead. That is the ruler we will run over this Report.”

Productivity Commissioner Peter Achterstraat’s comprehensive review of the system makes 29 recommendations, including:

• Changing the funding mix for more efficient infrastructure delivery.

• Linking council rates more closely with population growth.

• Developing a digital tool for calculating infrastructure contributions.

• Ensuring infrastructure contributions plans are in place upfront during the rezoning process.

• Supporting better open space provision through a system for the direct land dedication following re-zoning.

• Reforming state contributions so funding goes where infrastructure is required.

“Of course, like every major review the devil will be in the detail. There are a number of recommendations in the Report which will require carefully scrutiny and analysis and consideration of how they interrelate to other government priorities such as the tax reform plan recently announced by the Treasurer.

“We will be making a strong submission to the Government during the consultation phase and we will urge the government to move quickly on key reforms and to ensure appropriate transition arrangements are in place,” Ms Fitzgerald concluded.

To read the report visit https://productivity.nsw.gov.au/infrastructure-contributions-review

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