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Homebuyers suffer as NSW walks away from leview reform
Released 16 September 2010

The NSW Government's decision to abandon the bulk of its reforms to local infrastructure levies will ultimately cost homebuyers, according to the Property Council of Australia. 

The Property Council said highlights of the original plan announced prior to the State Budget to cap section 94 contributions at $20,000 per lot and use IPART to independently assess all plans had been ditched this week.
"The Government has walked away from landmark reforms that had the potential to deliver substantial savings to homebuyers on the cost of new housing," NSW Executive Director Glenn Byres said.

"We have a housing supply shortfall in NSW estimated to be as high as 60,000 in Sydney alone and excessive infrastructure levies have stifled production.

"The Government had intended to introduce a strict cap and ensure a rigorous, fair and transparent process was in place for financing infrastructure.

"It was a sound initiative that recognised that homebuyers ultimately bear the cost of infrastructure charges and levies."
He said the package is less than two months old and now the Government has now caved into threats from councils refusing to issue development approvals.

"They have allowed a higher cap in some areas and reduced IPARTs scrutiny of infrastructure charges without a guarantee DA approvals will flow.

"It is no way to build investor confidence at a time of fragile sentiment and low housing production."