Monday, 20 April 2020 14:09

WSROC welcomes contributions reform, warns against cost-shifting

Timber frame of new build. Timber frame of new build. WSROC

Media release, 20 April 2020

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement on reforming development contributions but warns placing additional pressures on councils will be counterproductive to liveability goals.

WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “This is a welcome announcement by the NSW Government. Councils, particularly those in high growth areas like Western Sydney, have long called for changes in the way we fund social infrastructure such as parks, community halls, libraries and swimming pools.

“WSROC also welcomes the $70 million worth of funding for the North West Growth Area in acknowledgement that the unprecedented scale of growth in this region far outstrips existing funding mechanisms,” he said.

“However, it is essential that the well-intentioned efforts of the NSW Government to drive jobs, infrastructure and housing delivery during the Covid-19 pandemic, does not put unnecessary financial pressures on local councils and their communities,” said Clr Calvert.

“We are concerned by the Minister’s comment that councils need assistance to “spend the money they already have”. This implies that councils have access to significant funding that they are failing to adequately invest in their communities. Nothing could be further from the truth. In Western Sydney, rapid growth is driving a demand for infrastructure and services that far exceeds what councils can deliver under the current funding mechanisms,” he said.

“This is particularly true in 2020, where Western Sydney councils are not only managing record population growth, they are helping communities rebuild after bushfires, are at the coal-face of a national waste crisis, and now are navigating the Covid-19 crisis in the absence of federal support via JobKeeper payments.

“Reforms to contributions schemes must first and foremost, address the capacity of councils to deliver the liveable environments their communities need and deserve. If not, councils will be forced to make difficult decisions between funding for community-building programs and services, and delivery of basic infrastructure. At a time where we are seeking to build connected, resilient, liveable communities, is this what we want?

“WSROC supports a review and reform of developer contributions. The current funding arrangements were not designed to deal with the speed and scale of our current period of unprecedented growth, however, any such review must have community outcomes at its heart,” said Clr Calvert.

[ENDS]

 

Media contact: Kelly Gee, 0425 871 868 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter

Last modified on Wednesday, 22 April 2020 14:14

Filter By