Unfair Developer Contribution Reforms: Bayside

Bayside Council is urging all Members of the Upper House of the NSW State Parliament to reject the proposed developer contribution reforms which will dramatically reduce Council’s ability to fund vital infrastructure for our growing community and unfairly burden existing ratepayers.

“Bayside Council could be short-changed $140M in contributions over the next 15 years compared if these changes come into effect,” Mayor Dr Christina Curry said in a Mayoral Minute.

“Rates would need to increase immediately by at least $150 per household to cover the gap.

“The only winner is the State Government – the reforms must be scrapped immediately. I call on the cross benchers and Labor members of the Upper House to unite to defeat this appalling piece of legislation.”

“The previous Minister for Planning, Rob Stokes MP, introduced a range of reforms to the developer contributions system in NSW which, if adopted, will leave councils financially crippled and communities without essential infrastructure.

“The Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Infrastructure Contributions) proposes that developers contribute more to the State Government and less towards local priorities and projects.

“The Minister, in putting forward these reforms, suggested that the ‘shortfall’ some $10m each year in Bayside could be compensated by charging our ratepayers higher rates.”

The proposed reforms include changes that will:

  • Limit the range of infrastructure that councils can levy contributions for, and exclude collecting for libraries and community facilities
  • Dictate state-wide standards for infrastructure (one size fits all) that will not reflect the real cost of constructing infrastructure in an urban area or meet our community’s needs
  • Direct contributions to a State controlled Regional Infrastructure fund for which there is no plan, and no requirement to spend the funds in the area where they were collected
  • Delay collection of larger contributions until residents move into a new development, meaning that new infrastructure cannot be provided to coincide with population growth
  • Impose unrealistically low caps on the contribution paid per new dwelling
  • Force councils to burden ratepayers with higher rates to make up for the shortfall that developers should be paying

/Public Release. View in full here.