PROPOSED LEGISLATION TARGETS INFRASTRUCTURE CHARGES

PROPOSED LEGISLATION TARGETS INFRASTRUCTURE CHARGES

THE STATE government has attempted to tackle issues within economic development and infrastructure charges with new legislation introduced to parliament this week.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney (pictured) says the Sustainable Planning (Infrastructure Charges) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 will encourage development and provide new funding avenues for local government.

Seeney says the bill proposes to introduce a ‘fair value schedule of infrastructure charges’ that reflect the cost of infrastructure required to allow new residential, commercial and industrial developments to take place.

He says councils who choose to observe the fair schedule can make application to have key works identified as Priority Development Infrastructure that could potentially attract co-funding by the state.

“This will help to relieve cost pressures on councils, developers and service providers when it comes to sharing the burden of paying for infrastructure such as roads and water and sewerage treatment plants,” he says.

He says the Bill does not propose to adjust the regulated infrastructure caps that local governments can charge, however councils who choose not to adopt the fair value schedule of charges would not be considered for co-funding.

“We have created funding incentives for councils that use this new fair value schedule by having the State co-invest in Priority Development Infrastructure in the council’s area,” he says.

“Based on this research, the schedule is generally 10 per cent lower for residential development and 15 per cent less for retail, commercial and industrial development than the regulated infrastructure charging framework.”

The bill has been referred to the State Development, Infrastructure and Industry Committee for consideration.

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