Randwick City Council is one of 23 metropolitan councils who today, 16 September 2021, have launched a campaign 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 have published an open letter in the Sydney Morning Herald and Daily Telegraph, to raise public awareness of the detrimental impact this levy change will have on their communities.
The councils argue that developer levies should be spent where they are raised to ensure new development is accompanied by appropriate investment in the surrounding area.
Randwick Mayor Danny Said explained that the government cash grab would hit Randwick City hard with an estimated $27M is lost revenue over the next 10 years.
“Developer contributions are important to help ensure we can continue to provide our community with the local infrastructure they deserve such as parks, community centres and libraries.
“If this government change goes ahead it significantly puts at risk Randwick Council’s ability to provide park and playground upgrades, new cycleways and the creation of public plazas such as Meeks Street Plaza in Kingsford.
“The Government’s suggestion that Council raise rates to cover the shortfall would mean Randwick ratepayers would be slugged with an increase to their rates of about 2.5% each year for the next 10 years.
“It is unfair to shift the cost of new local infrastructure that supports development away from the developers building it, and onto existing ratepayers,” explains Mayor Said.
Modelling by the Centre for International Economics (CIE) estimates that the Infrastructure Contributions Bill (2021) would give the NSW Government an additional $793million 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 ratepayers.
The 23 signatories are directing communities to visit www.saveourcommunities.com to find out more, and to also voice their concern with local members of Parliament.
The signatories 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.
Chelsea Hunter – 0419 694 983 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Joshua Hay – 0402 351 459 or email@example.com