New South Wales

NSW Government announces new levies to support housing and infrastructure in the Illawarra and Lower Hunter regions

THE NSW Government last week announced new infrastructure levies on housing and industrial development in the southern Illawarra and the Lower Hunter areas.

The government said that it had developed the draft contribution plans to support new development through a State contributions framework.

Planning Minister Tony Kelly said the new schemes would cut red tape and provide greater certainty for land owners bringing new housing stock online.

For Illawarra, the government has endorsed a draft contribution of $73,219 per hectare of residential land and $29,180 per hectare of industrial land.

For the Lower Hunter, the government has endorsed a draft contribution of $105,341 per hectare of residential land and $42,134 per hectare of industrial land.

Currently, contributions towards State infrastructure are negotiated between the Department of Planning and developers on a site-by-site basis. The government said that this had a number of drawbacks including high administration costs, delays in providing new housing and employment and a lack of certainty for landowners.

Mr Kelly said that the contribution will only be applied after a new release area is rezoned for industrial or residential uses and when development occurs.

The Minister said that the new contribution plans could potentially raise $685 million for infrastructure in the Lower Hunter and $165 million in the southern Illawarra.

Mr Kelly said the contribution plans would shortly be placed on exhibition to seek feedback from landowners and other stakeholders.

The property development industry group, Urban Taskforce, was cautious towards the proposed contribution plans, saying that full details have not yet been released and that they will need to be closely scrutinised.

Chief Executive Aaron Gadiel said "the industry is always nervous when a government starts talking about new taxes."

"Some development projects will clearly be more expensive, as a result of this charge… However, other projects may face lower costs…" Mr Gadiel said.

"If the timely delivery of new infrastructure is not guaranteed, new housing and workplaces may have to carry the cost of this levy as well as bearing the burden of additional negotiated contributions."

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