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NEW SOUTH WALES
New Sydney homes set to become cheaper
New homes could become cheaper in some Sydney suburbs under policy changes that would allow developers to get speedy approvals from NSW Planning rather than having to complete federal environmental impact reports.
Consultancy and holding costs from developers awaiting approvals are often passed on to buyers, according to the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA).
The change is particularly useful for would-be investors in north-west and south-west Sydney, where a government ‘growth centres’ program will ensure the new approach is rolled out.
Whether or not it will apply to regional suburbs is yet to be determined.
“[This] will reduce compliance costs built into the price of a new home, further reducing the financial burden of red tape on the homebuyer,’’ UDIA NSW chief executive Stephen Albin said.
Local councils hoard infrastructure money: Property Council
According to an audit, Sydney’s local councils are sitting on more than $650 million worth of unspent infrastructure levies, the Property Council of Australia claims.
Financial statements for 2010/2011 for 38 councils show 23 of them spent less than they took from ratepayers, the audit found.
“Sydney’s councils have set three new records: the highest amount of unspent levies, as well as the most raised and least spent in any year,” NSW Executive Director Glenn Byres said.
“Councils consistently cry poor over the lack of infrastructure spending across Sydney, but too many are guilty of starving their own communities,” Mr Byres said.
The Council has called for a radical overhaul of the way infrastructure levies are calculated, raised and spent.
“There is no good excuse for stockpiling over $650 million in infrastructure levies,” Mr Byres said. “The levies are collected on the promise they will be spent on essential infrastructure – which is exactly what councils are failing to do.”
The annual audit of s94 funds began in 2004-2005 and is sourced directly from councils’ financial statements across metropolitan Sydney.