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Council Calls NSW Government to Halt Levy Reform

For immediate release

Thursday 23 September 2021

Strathfield Council has joined 22 other councils in demanding the NSW Government abandon its plan to divert local government funds into State revenue.

The NSW Government is attempting to take up to half of local government developer contributions – the money councils levy developers to help pay for local infrastructure such as playgrounds, sports fields, libraries and parks.

The councils argue that developer levies should be spent where they are raised to ensure new development is accompanied by appropriate investment surrounding the area.

Modelling by the Centre for International Economics estimates that the Infrastructure Contributions Bill (2021) would give the NSW Government an additional $793 million per year in revenue (averaged over 20 years).

Local councils will only be able to levy local development for essential infrastructure and will be left with shortfalls in funding for playgrounds, open space, sports and community facilities unless they raise rates. This transfers the cost of new community infrastructure to support new development from the developers to the ratepayers.

Strathfield Council Mayor, Stephanie Kokkolis said, “this legislation seeks to limit the amount of money councils can request from developers as part of 711 (code) section 94. Additionally, all 711 funds will go to the State government, forcing councils to apply for money to fund much needed community projects.

“This will result in a large loss of funds, approximately $6 million per year for Strathfield Council, leading to rate rises and the cancellation of projects.

“Projects that are funded by developer contributions include Hudson Park stage 1 which features a new amenities building, Homebush West Community Centre, all playground upgrades, Strathfield Park amenities building and community space, town centre upgrades and the library upgrade which included the installation of solar panels. We would have to abandon future projects of this nature and raise rates by up to 20% if this legislation is to go ahead.”

The signatory Councils are: Bayside, Blacktown City, Blue Mountains, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury Bankstown, City of Sydney, Cumberland, Hawkesbury, Hunter’s Hill, Inner West, Lane Cove, Liverpool, Mosman, North Sydney, Penrith, Randwick, Ryde, Strathfield, Sutherland Shire, Waverley, Willoughby and Woollahra.

For more information on the campaign visit www.saveourcommunities.com

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact:

Naomi Searle

Strathfield Council

9748 9992

naomi.searle@strathfield.nsw.gov.au

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