Exposing Your Trunks: New Disclosure Obligations for Infrastructure Charges

Councils rely on infrastructure charges to cover costs associated with delivering crucial trunk infrastructure for developments.

On 28 September 2019, Minister for State Development, Manufacturing and Planning, Cameron Dick, announced the State Government’s plan to amend the Planning Regulation 2017 to require local governments to disclose how they are spending developer infrastructure charges.

When?

The changes come into effect on 1 January 2020.

What’s changed?

Since the Minister’s announcement, the changes have been legislated in the Planning (Infrastructure Charges Register and Other Matters) Amendment Regulation 2019, which was published on 4 October 2019.

The changes require Councils to publish a register on their website that discloses:

  • the total amount of infrastructure charges levied and the total amount of charges paid;
  • the total amount of offsets given;
  • the total amount of levied charges refunded;
  • the total amount of levied charges spent on providing trunk infrastructure; and
  • the total amount of levied charges not spent on providing trunk infrastructure.

The register must be updated at least annually with this information before 1 December each year.

Other information is required to be updated at least monthly.

The register must also contain information that immediately before 1 January 2020, Councils were required to make available as part of their infrastructure charges register under the Planning Regulation 2017.

For those local governments whose estimated infrastructure charges in a financial year is, or is forecast to be, $20m or more, there are additional obligations.  Those Councils need to update their registers at the end of each quarter to include certain information about trunk infrastructure supplied by the local government during that quarter, including:

  • a description of the trunk infrastructure;
  • the suburb or locality it is located in;
  • the cost of providing the trunk infrastructure.

The change, which follows consultation with the Property Council of Australia, Urban Development Institute of Australia and Local Government Association of Queensland, is part of the State Government’s drive for openness and transparency in local government operations.

What’s next?

Some Councils publish this information already, but for those who don’t, there are only a few months left for Councils to get their systems in order so that this information can be published in accordance with the requirements.

For more information about infrastructure charges or the new requirements under the Planning Regulation 2017, please contact Julian Bodenmann on 07 4052 0717. 

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