It’s been revealed Queenslanders will soon have clearer information about how councils are spending developer infrastructure charges, with amendments proposed for the state planning system.
Under the changes by the State Government, councils will be required to publish online the amount of funds they receive from developers, and how and where the money is spent.
Minister for Planning Cameron Dick says the move will reassure locals about what is being delivered in their towns and cities.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
“The amendments will create a better understanding of how development activity benefits the broader community, through improved infrastructure and services such as stormwater, transport, public parks and land for community facilities,” Mr Dick said.
“It will also highlight the considerable infrastructure being delivered by local councils to support regional growth.”
From 1 January 2020, councils will have to publish online the value of infrastructure charges they receive, and how and where these funds are spent.
Minister Dick said this will include publishing information such as infrastructure charges notices and documents used in the review, making or amendment of a local government infrastructure plan.
“Developers pay significant amounts to local governments to build and upgrade infrastructure to support their development, so it’s important the community knows where councils are spending these funds,” he said.
“On top of this, councils also invest in additional infrastructure to serve existing and future residents,” he said.
Property Council of Australia’s Queensland Executive Director Chris Mountford said the lack of transparency around the collection and spending of infrastructure charges has contributed to community concerns that development occurs without the necessary local infrastructure upgrades.
“What is often not understood is that all new developments are required to make a significant contribution to the cost of upgrading local government infrastructure as part of their approval.
“Until now, it has been difficult for the community to see the expected correlation between growth and development, and the associated infrastructure that should be delivered by council.
“These amendments will allow everyone from across government, industry and the community to better understand and keep tabs on how these levies are contributing to local infrastructure upgrades.”