THE COMMUNITY will foot the bill for proposed reforms to developer contributions, as far as Tamworth Regional Council is concerned.
Hitting back at the changes, the council will make a submission to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) arguing there's at least five issues with the reforms.
The rate peg has been set at 0.7 per cent, but independent pricing watchdog IPART has introduced a growth rate with the idea that while the maximum councils can charge in developer contributions might be slashed - it will be offset for those councils with growth.
The council's liveable communities director Gina Vereker said that while that's all well and good for those councils, IPART has decided Tamworth doesn't have any growth.
What that means for the community is that Tamworth won't earn money on top of its 0.7 per cent, and that instead of developers paying a contribution for infrastructure like parks on their land, the ratepayer will have to cough up, she said.
"So again, you'll have a new community and the developers as well saying, 'we paid our contribution, where's this facility or embellished park you promised us?'," she said.
"We won't be able to charge for that and therefore who will fund it? The entire community.
"Our growth is happening here in Tamworth but when you average it out across the region it comes out very low ... because that's how it's calculated regional areas are already at a disadvantage."
Tamworth's growth is calculated across the entire region, making it appear slower, while smaller metropolitan cities like suburbs in inner-Sydney appear to grow faster.
State government numbers project the city's growth at about 0.4 per cent, while mayor Russell Webb argues in reality it's much closer to 2 per cent.
"This is negatively impacting on us because now they aren't giving us a growth rate which affects where we might be able to adjust our contributions," he said.
The council wanted to make a submission to the 200 pages of information on IPART rate pegging changes, but its request for an extension beyond December 12, 2021 was denied.
Cr Phil Betts said he has serious concerns with IPART's conduct.
"You've seen what they've done with our water charges being the highest in the state," he said.
"To only allow a 0.7 per cent increase in rate pegging, it's a negative thing that happens now for the future.
"It has a huge impact. They're really giving us a bum steer I reckon."
It's not clear exactly what's in the council's submission, as it was sent to councillors to review confidentially.
Details set out in the council papers show it is supportive of initiatives to simplify the Infrastructure Contributions System and promote transparency and consistency across the state.
However, it doesn't accept statements made by DPIE that the rate peg review process undertaken by IPART is separate from the reforms to infrastructure contributions.
It argues they are closely related, and that the reforms will provide benefits to the development industry by cost-shifting from the developer to the community.
Meanwhile, it argues, the rates are pegged at "such a low level" that the council will have no real capacity to meet community expectations of providing a liveable community with good amenities.
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