Contributions cop a barrage

A TWEED developer and husband of former mayor Joan van Lieshout is furious at moves by Tweed Shire Council to increase the fees it expects developers to "contribute" to services such as roads, parks and libraries.

Eco-village developer Peter van Lieshout, who has approval for an "ecologically sustainable" village south-west of Mt Warning, said the Tweed was already charging more than other councils and scaring developers away.

Councillors voted on Tuesday to increase road contributions from developers to as much as $18,432 per block, with Joan van Lieshout declaring a pecuniary interest because of her husband's investments and not voting.

The increased costs however have been defended by pro-development councillor Warren Polglase who said most developers understand why they are needed.

Mr van Lieshout said Tweed already received 16% of its income from the so-called "Section 94" contributions from developers "compared to all other shires in NSW which average 8%".

"Developers work on a profit margin and they have to add that onto the price of land," Mr van Lieshout said.

"All the council is doing is upping the price of land and discouraging developers from coming here.

"It's almost impossible to get a development off the ground as it is. In the long run this just stops jobs and stops the shire going ahead.

"Queensland is doing everything it can to reduce contributions. In this shire they are doing everything to make it more difficult to us."



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