NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and the Hunter, Scot MacDonald, last month announced the first region-wide Special Infrastructure Contribution (SIC) scheme will apply in the Hunter region, with a draft proposal placed on public exhibition.
Mr MacDonald said the SIC scheme will allow for the funding of infrastructure to be shared with the development industry, with up to $330 million in contributions expected to be collected over the next 20 years to support infrastructure for around 47,000 new homes.
"The NSW Government is firmly focused on sustainable growth and making housing more affordable as the Hunter population grows," Mr MacDonald said.
"But we want to make sure that new communities are supported by essential infrastructure when people move in. This means ensuring new developments make a fair financial contribution to the cost of infrastructure.
"Any money raised from these contributions must be funnelled back into the community where new development is occurring to benefit new and existing residents.
"I encourage the community to have their say on the draft SIC proposal while it's on public exhibition."
The Hunter SIC aims to ensure that new homes constructed in Greater Newcastle and across the Hunter Region will be supported by essential infrastructure such as roads, schools, and health and emergency services.
SICs are a charge paid by developers when they are proposing additional greenfield development. The contributions collected will be used to fund infrastructure and land for emergency services, health care, road upgrades, new and upgraded schools, and planning and delivery costs.
The proposed SIC will reduce the need for the Minister to enter into planning agreements for State infrastructure, saving up to a year in processing time, increasing certainty and transparency for industry and benefiting the community by delivering infrastructure where and when it is needed.
"The SIC will apply to residential and industrial development in greenfield land release areas. It will ensure local and state contributions are coordinated so there is no double-dipping for the same infrastructure," Mr MacDonald said.
The Department of Planning and Environment is consulting on the proposed approach for implementing the Hunter Region SIC. This will be followed by the release of a draft SIC determination that will set contribution rates for three catchments, consistent with sub-regions identified in the Hunter Regional Plan 2036: Lower Hunter, Upper Hunter, and Mid-Coast.
The Department of Planning and Environment is working with NSW Treasury, infrastructure agencies, and councils to determine the projects that will receive SIC funding.