Government floats new infrastructure contribution scheme
Almost $470 million could flow into Hunter infrastructure projects under a proposed new developer contribution scheme.
The Hunter Region Special Infrastructure Contribution (SIC) is currently on public exhibition and proposes the elimination of voluntary planning agreements, which are used by the developer and approving authority to negotiate whether the developer provides or just funds public infrastructure, and can sometimes take years to negotiate.
Eliminating the voluntary agreements is expected to speed up the development process and deliver a forecast $468 million to infrastructure projects over the next 20 years, with contributions going to roads, schools, and health, ambulance and police facilities.
“As much of the Hunter Region’s new growth will be in greenfield areas we need to ensure the infrastructure is in place to support this growth,” Department of Planning and Environment Acting Deputy Secretary Planning and Design Brett Whitworth said.
“A SIC will only take a few days to assess and calculate the infrastructure contribution they will need to make to the State Government for their project.”
The SIC rate will apply to development that increases density, such as new building construction and land subdivision of residential lots.
In the Lower Hunter, which includes Maitland and Cessnock, the rate would be $9857 per lot or dwelling.
But the Executive Director of Housing Industry Association – Hunter Craig Jennion said he had concerns.
“The Government’s intent to charge developers with additional costs is certain to further reduce housing affordability for local families as any levies paid by developers go straight onto the price of a new home,” he said.
The draft SIC can be found at planning.nsw.gov.au. The exhibition period closes on February 25.