What are infrastructure charges?
Infrastructure charges are levied by Council when development occurs.
These charges are triggered because additional development generates additional demand upon Council’s trunk infrastructure networks of sewer, water supply, transport, parks and recreation and stormwater.
The money or assets collected by Council contribute to the delivery of essential trunk infrastructure such as sewer, water supply, roads as well as parks and community land.
Without the delivery of such infrastructure in a well-sequenced manner, deficiencies in these networks can occur and may create capacity or connectivity issues if not appropriately funded.
Council’s general rates base does not contribute to the creation of this essential trunk infrastructure, as these funds only provide for the operating and maintenance costs associated with these assets once they are built.
What is the Charges Resolution (‘CR’) and what is its purpose?
Council currently has an AICR in place which is consistent with the Local Government Infrastructure Plan contained in the first amendment to the Broadsound, Belyando and Nebo Planning Schemes which took effect from 1 July 2018.
The existing AICR provides a framework by which infrastructure charges may be levied upon development, consistent with the State Government’s requirements.
In all cases, the existing AICR ensures that charges levied by Council are equal to, or lower than, the mandated maximum charge.
What is an Infrastructure Charges Notice?
Council levies infrastructure charges as part of the development assessment process which is done through the issue of an Infrastructure Charges Notice.
An Infrastructure Charges Notice may apply when a subdivision (reconfiguring a lot), material change of use or carrying out of building work occurs generating extra demand on trunk infrastructure networks.
An Infrastructure Charges Notice is separate to, but associated, with a Development Permit.
An applicant may make representations to Council Infrastructure Charges Notice during the appeal period and if not satisfied with the outcome may appeal to the Planning and Environment Court.
The Charge is to be paid at time of commencement of the use as set out in the Infrastructure Charges Notice.
The charge is payable by the applicant however the levied charge attaches to the premises.
Therefore, if a use has commenced and the applicant did not pay the levied amount, the owner of the premises can be required to pay the levied charge even where they were not the applicant for the development.
Existing lawful use credits
Discounts will be applied where an existing lawful use (existing vacant land entitlements also apply) is established and operating on the site which is the subject of a development application.
In the case where the existing lawful use credit is greater than the levy generated by a new use that superseded older lawful use(s) no refund is given as Council will retain the difference for future credit upon further development.
Further information in relation to such discounts (and how to calculate them) can be found in the CR.
Off-sets for the provision of trunk infrastructure provided by development
Off-sets against infrastructure charges will be applied where an applicant can prove that they are supplying trunk infrastructure (for any applicable network) as part of their development application.
The mechanism explaining how these offsets are calculated is identified in the CR.
Further information in relation to such trunk Infrastructure off-sets (and how to calculate them) can be found in the CR.