Wednesday, 01 September 2021 12:31

Report from the Board

WSROC Treasurer, Liverpool City Clr Kharess Rhodes with Mayor of Lithgow City Council, Ray Thompson WSROC Treasurer, Liverpool City Clr Kharess Rhodes with Mayor of Lithgow City Council, Ray Thompson

The third WSROC Board meeting for 2021 was held on the 19th of August, via Zoom. Some of the key discussion items from the meeting included:

IPART rating reform and Infrastructure Contributions Bill

Proposed reforms to the two primary sources of local government funding – rates and infrastructure contributions – were a key issue for discussion at the August Board meeting. These reforms have been a major area of concern for WSROC councils, as well as Local Government NSW due to their significant impact on councils’ capacity to deliver local infrastructure and services to communities.

IPART’s proposed reforms to the rating system, includes a “population growth factor” intended to provide additional income to councils experiencing higher levels of population growth. However, the methodology has been criticised as oversimplistic and failing to recognise local infrastructure needs are dependent on a range of factors such as historical deficits, socio-demographics, and base population size and density.

A related issue of concern for council funding is the NSW Infrastructure Contributions Bill.  The Bill has been criticised as lacking in detail, and for its limited collaboration with local government.

The Board resolved for WSROC to lend its voice to collective advocacy underway on both rating and infrastructure contributions reform, and work with member councils to identify and elevate other areas of concern with regards to the reforms - such as a new rating category on Environmental Lands.

Affordable and social housing

Affordable housing was raised as an agenda item by Liverpool City Council, which noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had highlighted the need for improving the quality of dwellings, and in particular, the importance of getting high-density dwellings right.

Issues including energy usage, thermal safety, sunlight, ventilation and the quality of common spaces, and adaptable housing were discussed.

It was noted that consultations on the new Design and Place SEPP and revised Apartment Design Guide were currently underway and that WSROC is involved in these discussions, however further avenues for advocacy would be explored.

The Board resolved that WSROC review and advocate for building regulations that deliver affordable and social housing that is of improved quality in order to safeguard vulnerable communities.

Last modified on Thursday, 02 September 2021 14:36