New South Wales

Infrastructure contribution plans for the Lower Hunter and Illawarra on exhibition

THE NSW Department of Planning has placed on exhibition its proposed regional infrastructure contribution plans for the Lower Hunter and Illawarra, which replace the existing site-by-site contribution system.

The documents detailing the operation of the new Special Infrastructure Contribution (SIC) will be on exhibition until 25 February 2011 and include a draft contribution determination, a worksheet showing how the contributions were calculated and maps showing the areas that will be affected.

Planning Minister Tony Kelly has said the proposed schemes will cut red tape and provide greater certainty for land owners by replacing the existing system that causes higher administration costs and delays the provision of new housing and employment.

The proposed SIC within the Lower Hunter Special Contributions Area will be $105,340 per net developable hectare for residential development or about $8,780 per averaged sized lot and $42,134 per net developable hectare for industrial development.

The proposed SIC within the Illawarra Special Contributions Area will be $73,219 per net developable hectare for residential development or about $6,180 per averaged sized lot and $29,180 per net developable hectare for industrial development.

The Department's Deputy Director General Strategies and Land Release, Ian Reynolds, said the new uniform contribution system was not a new charge for the development industry.

While Mr Reynolds said there were "dozens" of site-by-site voluntary planning agreements in place or being drafted to collect infrastructure contributions, a more coordinated approach was preferred for high growth areas like the Lower Hunter and Illawarra.

"What is being proposed here is a more efficient and streamlined uniform contribution system, which assists both land supply and infrastructure provision," he said.

The money raised by the SIC will help to fund $1.2 billion in new infrastructure required across the two regions. This total also includes the cost of debt to fund infrastructure while contributions are still being collected.

More information is available from the NSW Department of Planning website at <http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/>.

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