The New South Wales government will “shake up” the infrastructure contributions scheme and unlock up to $12 billion in productivity benefits after accepting all 29 recommendations from the Productivity Commission’s report.
NSW Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the government would release a blueprint on how to implement the recommendations over the next 18 months.
“This is the biggest shake-up of the system in three decades and could deliver billions of dollars of benefits over the next 20 years through better services, savings for business and better public spaces,” Stokes said.
“Solving the uncertainty of infrastructure contributions was one of four pillars of our Planning Reform Action Plan. That’s why we’re adopting the Productivity Commission’s recommendations in full to build a more timely, transparent and certain planning system.”
Stokes said it would help give certainty on how new services are funded and delivered in growth corridors and new communities.
Urban Taskforce chief executive Tom Forrest said he welcomed the news, which would help to stimulate the economy and investment in jobs in the construction and development industry.
“This is a clear sign that the NSW government has been listening to the concerns raised by the Urban Taskforce and our members regarding fees taxes and charges associated with local and state infrastructure,” Forrest said.
“There is much more to be done in planning reform, as the Productivity Commission’s Green Paper makes clear, but today’s announcement represents strong progress.”
“There is more to be done to boost the number of approvals and relieve the current boom in new home prices – but this is a tremendous step in the right direction and just what the economy needed as we move out of the Covid-19 recession.”
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said these changes would help drive economic recovery across the state with jobs on smaller-scale infrastructure projects and incentivising investment in new housing supply.
Changes to the NSW infrastructure contributions include local government rate pegs being adjusted with population growth, IPART will set benchmark costs for infrastructure, infrastructure charges will not be paid until completion of the building, and reducing the cost of water connections to new properties.