TO further support the comprehensive package to boost housing supply across the state, the New South Wales Government last week said it is extending the 50 per cent discount on the State Infrastructure Contribution (SIC).
Current arrangements for the State Infrastructure Contribution were due to finish on June 30 2012, but will now continue with the government funding 50 per cent of the cost of necessary infrastructure such as roads.
"The Government's commitment will continue to ease the burden on new housing, making it more affordable, providing certainty for the development industry," Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard said.
Mr Hazzard said the Coalition Government will provide a consistent and reliable framework for new investment, having not changed the SIC rate since coming to office in March 2011.
"Continuing the discount to the S.I.C comes off the back of the most comprehensive Budget housing package that NSW has seen in decades and further demonstrates the Government's commitment to supporting homebuyers," said Treasurer Mike Baird.
The Treasurer said the government is spending more than half a billion dollars on infrastructure projects to support new housing, including $481 million for a Housing Acceleration Fund to support infrastructure for homes and $50 million for a new Urban Activation Precinct Program to unlock infill development opportunities.
Mr Hazzard said the State Infrastructure Contribution scheme will remain in place as the government develops a new planning system for the state. A green paper, which is expected to be released shortly, will propose a number of options for how state and local infrastructure contributions might operate in future.
The extension of the State Infrastructure Contribution discount was welcomed by property development industry group, Urban Taskforce, with CEO Chris Johnson calling it welcome news for the industry.
However, Mr Johnson said he was concerned that there was no timeline about the final determination of contribution levels.
"Our industry operates on long timeframes and we need some certainty about the amount of contributions to be paid," Mr Johnson said.
"While we are clearly supportive of the assistance the continuation of the deduction of half the contribution gives to the industry we are however concerned that it was left to a few days before the expiry date to announce its continuation.
"It seems that the deduction will remain in place until the new planning act is in force and that options for the operation of contributions will be outlined in the much awaited Green Paper," Mr Johnson said.