The State Government's proposed developer contribution reforms will cost Bayside Council $10 million a year or $140 million over the next 15 years and will mean an immediate increase in rates, council has warned.
The proposed changes were described at this week's council meeting as unfair, appalling and a cash grab by the government.
In a Mayoral Minute presented at last night's (June 22) council meeting, Bayside mayor, Dr Christina Curry called for the council to urged all Members of the Upper House of the NSW State Parliament to resoundingly 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.
"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," Councillor Curry said.
"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 $10million each year in Bayside could be compensated by charging our ratepayers higher rates.
"I am becoming increasingly concerned that the current Minister for Planning, Anthony Roberts is supportive of these reforms, which will clearly direct contributions by developers to State Government coffers.
"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; and
. Force councils to burden ratepayers with higher rates to make up for the shortfall that developers should be paying.
"If the changes come into effect, Bayside Council could be short-changed $140M in contributions over the next 15 years compared to what would be collected under the current system.
"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."
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