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Developer contributions overhauled

09 Jul 2015

Developer contributions overhauled Image

A new simpler, fairer development contributions system will come into operation early next year, according to the Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne.

Mr Wynne introduced the Planning and Environment Amendment (Infrastructure Contributions) Bill to parliament last month, which will replace what he described as the “inefficient” contributions system that had been in place since 2005.

He said further details around levy rates and indexation mechanisms were under discussion with councils and the property industry.

“Overhauling developer contributions is an important step in simplifying Victoria’s planning system and will give more certainty to developers and councils,” Mr Wynne said.

“The existing contributions system had become a barrier for urban development in Victoria. The system was unclear, lacked transparency and was an unnecessary burden.”

“These reforms, shaped through extensive consultation, have been long called for by local government as well as the planning and development industries.”

The news comes after City of Melbourne councillors endorsed Planning Scheme Amendment C209 in May which, if approved by the planning minister, would require developers to provide either land or money for new local projects.

The new Bill is based on the recommendations of the Standard Development Contributions Advisory Committee, which was established by the previous state government in 2012.

Mr Wynne said the committee recommended that development contributions reform achieve more standardised levies to provide developers, councils and the government with greater clarity at the outset of the development process.

He said the new laws would help ensure the implementation of a more streamlined approval process.

“Development contributions help to fund roads, parks, sports and community facilities,” Mr Wynne said. “A more efficient system means faster development approvals and less red tape.”

“As our cities grow, development contributions will help fund essential infrastructure.”

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning will now work with an implementation reference group to finalise details such as levy rates, indexation mechanisms and application criteria before the new system starts next year.

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