$1 million in rate payer money to assist developers? Are they crazy in Douglas Shire Council? Who are the Councillors that voted for this?
2021/2022 Douglas Shire Council Budget and Mayor Kerr proudly announces $1 million of rate payers’ money to assist developers.
“This includes a $1 million investment by Council to install trunk infrastructure such as culverts, water mains and a sewerage pipes at the Craiglie Residential Estate to help stimulate more land sales and get more houses built in our region”.
“Douglas Shire Council will spend $1 million in the 2021/22 Annual Budget to help unlock the first two stages of the New Port Estate, located on 180 acres of land south of Craiglie”.
Trunk infrastructure is normally to be paid for by the developers, so what is going on?
Normally a Council has a plan that identifies trunk infrastructure that is necessary to service urban development at the desired standard of service in a coordinated, efficient and financially sustainable manner.
Infrastructure charges are fees that Councils collect as part of the development assessment process.
In lay terms, a developer is offsetting its additional demands on public infrastructure against the cost to the public of expanding or replacing infrastructure once it reaches capacity.
These charges make a contribution towards the capital works of expanding, maintaining or replacing infrastructure. Anyone who undertakes a development is charged these fees.
Developers then add infrastructure charges into their feasibility as part of the cost of doing the development, in other words, developers make the money back when they sell the subdivision.
Why is a Council now contributing $1 million for this? Are the other ratepayers truly aware of what is happening?