Sea change ripple effect

DEVELOPERS will be asked to pay up to 50 per cent more for some Section 94 contributions to Tweed Shire Council, to cover rising costs of providing and maintaining infrastructure such as roads and bus shelters, Tweed Mayor Warren Polglase said yesterday.

He said developers had done very well in the recent property boom, while "the actual construction costs for Council have gone up".

He said Council last week had decid- ed to increase Section 94 charges.

"There is a lot of chest beating (about infrastructure costs) but the people involved understand how difficult it is to keep up," Councillor Polglase said.

He supported a call by Queensland Liberal Senator Santo Santoro for a national strategy to cope with the 'Seachange' population growth phenomenon.

Senator Santoro wants a "specific reference to managing Seachange" written into federal and state ministerial responsibilities, in line with recommendations from the National Seachange Task Force.

Cr Polglase said Tweed Shire Council could afford expensive upgrades of the water reticulation system and a new sewerage treatment plant at Kingscliff over the next few years because of developer contributions.

But more "cross subsidising" by federal and state governments for infra- structure projects was essential to ensure local governments continued to provide for coastal and hinterland communities, especially since the NSW Government withdrew subsidies for sewering rural villages.

NSW Local Government Department deputy director general Ross Woodward is investigating Tweed Shire Council's administration of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, including Council's use of developer levies.

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