- McGowan Government responds to concerns and delivers a contemporary policy with new planning guidelines for community infrastructure funding with policy officially gazetted today
- Reform delivers a consistent, fair system for development sector and local government
- New policy offers greater transparency on costs, timing and delivery
A long-standing mechanism for funding community infrastructure has been updated to bring more consistency, transparency and fairness to the system.
Financial contributions from developers is one of the ways local governments fund new roads, paths and cycleways; water supply, sewerage and drainage connections; parks, open spaces, and community facilities for new and existing communities.
State Planning Policy 3.6 - Infrastructure Contributions requires development contribution plans that detail how and when such infrastructure is costed and delivered.
Following extensive consultation with the development sector and local government, the McGowan Government has made changes to the policy to address concerns with a lack of consistency and transparency in the system.
The policy changes include:
- Clarifying what is considered community infrastructure, and what can be included in a development contribution plan;
- Requiring a development contribution plan to be advertised concurrently with, or within six months of, structure plan approval;
- Providing greater transparency of estimated costs through a detailed expenditure report - detailing priority and timing for the delivery of local amenities - which will be advertised for public consultation with a proposed development contribution plan;
- Publication of an annual report by local governments outlining delivery of community infrastructure against approved development contribution plans;
- Introducing a three-year transition period to amend existing development contribution plans without a nominated lifespan or review period to address priorities for the delivery of community infrastructure.
The new policy also introduces a cap on contributions for community infrastructure - a maximum of $5,000 per dwelling - to limit any impacts on housing affordability.
Subject to further consultation with industry and local government, and amendments to the Planning and Development (Local Planning Scheme) Regulations 2015, a right of independent review for developers will also be introduced via the State Administrative Tribunal.
The policy is available online at https://www.dplh.wa.gov.au/spp3-6
Comments attributed to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:
"Western Australians want access to good quality community facilities and local amenities in their local neighbourhoods.
"Whether that's a park around the corner with a playground for the kids to visit after school and a place to exercise the dogs, good cycle paths or a recreation centre, we want to ensure these facilities are considered when the community is being planned.
"This policy establishes a fairer, more consistent and transparent approach to how community infrastructure is funded, providing clear guidance to both the development sector and local government on their roles and responsibilities.
"We also want greater accountability and transparency about these funds.
"The development contribution scheme gives local government a significant revenue stream from landowners - it's only right that there is greater transparency and accountability.
"Building new communities is a shared responsibility between the private sector, State and local government and these reforms go some way to deliver better outcomes."
Minister's office - 6552 5500