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The way forward for contributions

Back in November, the NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, highlighted four crucial areas of reform to the NSW planning system for 2020, including addressing the uncertainty of developer contributions to propel investment in the sector. The Planning and Public Spaces Minister, Rob Stokes, considers this uncertainty and lack of transparency “the number one issue I hear from industry”. Mr Stokes has now announced the appointment of Productivity Commissioner Peter Achterstraat to undertake a review of the current contributions and offer recommendations for a new system by the end of this year.

This involves plans to reform developer contributions and levies to open up housing supply, deliver vital community infrastructure, and drive investment in NSW. $70 million is said to be allocated to fund new community infrastructure in high-growth areas of North-West Sydney in light of our growing population. Part of this is helping Councils “spend money they already have to stimulate their local economy, create more jobs and great public spaces”.

A number of more immediate reforms were also announced for public comment, including:

  • Measures requiring Councils to publish how much has been collected in developer contributions and where this has been spent
  • New guidelines concerning Special Infrastructure Contributions
  • Possibilities to simplify and condense the process for reviewing s7.11 local contributions plans; and
  • Planned reforms to s7.12 levies and voluntary planning agreements

The NSW Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, welcomed the appointment of Mr Achterstraat, stating that the overhaul of the planning system should help lift the economy at this crucial moment. He sees this as an opportunity to bolster jobs and generate investment for the State.

For all enquiries in relation to these uncertain times, or any planning matters or advice generally, please contact our expert team today. 


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