Council in dark on contributions

THE NSW Government is keeping Tweed Shire Council in the dark over whether it will be allowed to charge developers more than $20,000 for each housing block to pay for infrastructure such as roads and parks.

The Tweed is one of nearly 30 councils to have applied to the Government for an exemption to the new $20,000 limit because of the rate of growth in the area.

But the Government has put the Tweed on a “do later” list and told the Council to come back in several weeks to reapply, despite originally promising an answer by last Thursday.

The Council's engineering and operations director Patrick Knight said yesterday he understood the NSW Planning Minister Kristina Keneally had only dealt with applications from a few of the almost 30 council across the state for an exemption to the new limits.

He said Tweed Shire Council had been told this week it would have to again put its application to a special panel advising the minister.

The government announced the limits on the developer fees in December in a bid to make land cheaper.

But that was attacked by some Tweed councillors who said the price of land locally was simply determined by the huge demand.

Mr Knight said that while developers' fees did not exceed $20,000 for most blocks of land, they did in a number of rural areas, parts of Terranora and Seaside City south of Salt.

The Council was also concerned that if a cap was introduced now, it would not be able to increase fees in major planned developments such as Cobaki Lakes later.

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