By Angela Dorizas
The Urban Taskforce has welcomed the NSW Budget and its “robust support” for residential construction and local infrastructure.
The Taskforce’s chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said the new $200 million Local Infrastructure Fund would re-build confidence in the development industry.
“Too many developer projects have been hamstrung by local councils failing to commit to building up local infrastructure,” Gadiel said.
“The state government has recognised this problem and come up with a welcome solution.”
Through the scheme, councils will be offered interest free loans to fast-track community infrastructure projects.
Gadiel said it will leverage unspent development levies held by local government.
“Local councils will now have no excuse for sitting on the development levies they’ve collected from home buyers,” he said.
“Until now, councils have been able to claim that they could not spend up to $1 billion in development levies because the money was tied to specific projects, and they lacked the cash to fully fund their construction.
“The state government has provided a simple mechanism for councils to top development levies with an interest free government loan – enabling them to build local roads, roundabouts, bridges and playgrounds right now, when they’re needed.”
Gadiel said the stamp duty reduction for new homes was the strongest measure taken by any government in Australia to support new home construction.
Under the Housing Construction Acceleration Plan, which extends from 1 July to 31 December, owners of newly constructed homes (excluding first home buyers) will pay half the normal stamp duty on homes valued up to $600,000.
“The NSW Government has put its money where its mouth is – they’re clearly serious about supporting a construction led recovery,” Gadiel said.
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