New Council survey reveals need for amendments to infrastructure contributions reform
To fix the housing shortage and create great places for people to live, one of the biggest challenges facing NSW and its Councils, is the need to continuously fund, deliver and maintain infrastructure. Unfortunately, the NSW Government’s Infrastructure Contributions Reform that was designed to help fix these problems, has been deferred and the problems facing Councils partly explain why.
In a comprehensive survey of Councils by UDIA NSW Member NXS Planning, the Local Government Infrastructure Contributions Survey revealed the numerous issues Councils face including:
- Inability of Councils to fund infrastructure.
- When the funding is eventually available, the infrastructure will be built many years after it is required.
- Uncertainty surrounding what reforms will be implemented and when.
“Our survey shows that Councils have significant concerns about Infrastructure Contributions Reform, especially in resourcing the changes and providing funding to both provide and bring forward community infrastructure,” says Suyash Pareek from NXS Planning.
Councils are continually facing an uphill battle to fund infrastructure and the delay of the implementation of the reforms is causing issues with forward planning of Contribution teams work programs to deliver infrastructure. Gaps in the delivery of enabling infrastructure by State and Local Government is holding up three quarters of the supply of new lots according to UDIA’s Greenfield Land Supply Pipeline Report released last year, so industry cannot deliver the new housing we need in NSW.
The NXS Planning report also revealed another issue with 73% of Councils facing a high shortage of skilled staff, particularly in smaller Councils which are limited in terms of resources and budgets.
“Infrastructure Contributions Reform is essential if we are to fix the housing shortage and create great places with the community infrastructure they need. However, the current proposals do not do enough to support Councils,” said UDIA NSW CEO Steve Mann.
Mr Mann said, “Councils are a key part of infrastructure contributions reform and more needs to be done to get them on board including:
- A self-replenishing fund to bring forward local infrastructure;
- Creating empowered regional (UDP) committees that decide on the allocation of funding;
- Providing funds for regional large scale community infrastructure.”
UDIA calls on whoever wins the NSW State Election to make this reform a priority and ensure Infrastructure Contributions Reform is taken forward ASAP with amendments made to provide more support to Councils.
Deanna Lane 0416 295 898 or firstname.lastname@example.org