Clarence Valley Mayor and announced Independent candidate at the March 2011 NSW state election, Richie Williamson, told The Daily Examiner:
Err….Section 94s have been in place across the Clarence Valley for many years, based on the ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING AND ASSESSMENT ACT 1979 - SECT 94.
A fact Clarence Valley Shire Council admits on its own website:
Planning policy in the Clarence Valley is defined through the Local Environmental Plans (LEP), various Development Control Plans (DCPs) and Section 94 Contributions plans…. Section 94 Contributions Plans enable Council to levy developer contributions to fund public facilities and services whose demand is generated as a consequence of new development.
Additional to this, it does not appear that Clarence Valley Shire Council has been approved to levy the mentioned higher amount of $30,000 yet.
In fact what the mayor seems to be re-announcing is a watering down of developer obligations to adequately compensate residents and ratepayers for additional impacts on local government infrastructure.”
Indeed, in June 2010 it was reported in the mainstream media that:
The NSW Government’s decision to cap developer contributions could see new home owners in greenfields housing estates left without adequate facilities and households facing steep rises in rates, according to the Planning Institute of Australia’s NSW division.
PLANNING experts have warned a government decision to cap the amount of money councils can charge developers to pay for infrastructure will increase the cost of new houses - the opposite effect to that intended.
The president of the Planning Institute of Australia, Tony McNamara, said he feared a government imposed cap of $20,000 on developer levies would force up housing prices because councils in growth areas would be reluctant to approve new land for housing subdivisions, exacerbating the housing shortage.
Councils in several growth areas on Sydney's fringe have announced they will refuse to process new development applications, saying they cannot pay for the shortfall in infrastructure that will result from the new rules.
While this move is part of a NSW Government plan to eventually reduce the cost of State infrastructure contributions.
Now I can understand Williamson getting carried away by his enthusiasm for higher office and vamping a mayoral media release of what is essentially old news canvassed twice in mid-2010 in newspaper articles It's a taxing argument and Developer cap not a concern for CV, but what I cannot understand is the local media accepting this recent political beat-up so uncritically and churning out what comes perilously close to misinformation.