NSW councils miss out on infrastructure funding

By Staff Writer

Sydney councils have shunned the State Government’s $200 million infrastructure fund, developers claim.

The NSW Government scheme provides interest-free loans to local governments to fact-track local infrastructure projects.

The Urban Taskforce’s chief executive Aaron Gadiel said councils had only claimed $38 million from the $200 million fund.

“Only six of Sydney’s 41 councils have made successful applications,” Mr Gadiel said.

“None of Sydney’s inner suburban councils will participate in the fund – and only one of Sydney’s middle ring councils will take part.

“That’s despite the fact that 60 to 70 per cent of Sydney’s future housing growth is supposed to occur within Sydney’s existing urban footprint.”

Mr Gadiel said only five of Sydney’s 15 outer suburban councils had put up their hand for funding.

“The lack of interest by councils in this scheme is a reflection of the not-in-my-backyard approach most Sydney councils take to development,” he said.

Earlier this week NSW Premier Kristina Keneally announced a $179 million boost in funding for roads, sewage treatment works and water supply pipelines.

The interest-free loans will be directed toward 37 projects in 33 council areas. Each project is expected to be complete within 18 months and the loans are to be repaid within ten years.

“This funding is designed to serve dual purposes: providing an economic stimulus, and providing infrastructure for NSW’s growing number of homes,” Ms Keneally said.

“We are directing the funding at areas that will grow in population, with a specific focus on fast-tracking projects that will stimulate urban development and local jobs.”


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