NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Local infrastructure contributions, also known as developer contributions, are charged by councils when new development occurs. They help fund infrastructure like parks, community facilities, local roads, footpaths, stormwater drainage and traffic management.

There are two forms of local infrastructure contributions:

  • Section 7.11 contributions: Charged where there is a demonstrated link between the development and the infrastructure to be funded. Councils prepare contributions plans which specify what infrastructure will be provided and approximately how much it will cost. This is used to calculate a contribution rate, usually charged per dwelling or per square metre. Councils that want to charge a contributions rate above the threshold set by the Minister (PDF, 290 KB) must submit their plans to IPART for independent review, amend per the Minister’s advice, and approve the plans. Section 7.11 was previously known as section 94.
  • Section 7.12 levies: An alternative to s7.11 contributions, charged as a percentage of the estimated cost of the development. The maximum percentage that can be charged in most areas is 1%, although there are a small number of areas that charge a higher percentage. Section 7.12 was previously known as section 94A.

The local infrastructure contributions system is administered by local government as they are best placed to understand the needs of their communities. If you have questions about specific contributions plans or contribution rates you should contact the relevant council.

The department sets the policy framework under which councils collect and administer contributions. This includes legislation, ministerial directions and practice notes. The documents that make up the policy framework can be found at the bottom of this page.

Changes to infrastructure contributions

New reporting requirements for local infrastructure contributions

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 has been amended to improve transparency and accountability in how infrastructure contributions are received and spent in NSW. The new reporting requirements will commence on 1 July 2022.

For more information on the new requirements, refer to the Planning Circular (PDF, 157 KB) and Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 178 KB). The amending instrument is available on the NSW Legislation website.

Deferred payment of contributions

On 25 June 2020, a Ministerial direction (PDF, 168 KB) responding to the COVID-19 pandemic was made to defer the payment of infrastructure contributions for certain large scale developments for a set period.

On 31 March 2022 the period ended.  This means the Ministerial direction will not apply to developments approved after this date.

Conditions of consent deferring payments that were issued within the prescribed period do not expire when the direction ends. However, these developments must have a construction certificate issued before 25 September 2022 for the deferral arrangements to apply. If they do not, then the deferral ends.

If the Ministerial Direction still applies to your development, more detailed information is available: Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 Response measures: Infrastructure contributions – Timing of payment (PDF, 79 KB).

Pooling of contributions

In May 2020 two Ministerial Directions were made to facilitate the consolidation (pooling) of infrastructure funds and to request certain councils to provide information relating to the delivery of local infrastructure. For more information on these changes, you can read the Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) (PDF, 133 KB).

New requirements for certifiers on issuing an occupation certificate

Recent amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 require certifiers to confirm that there are no outstanding infrastructure contributions or levies prior to issuing an occupation certificate.

For more information on these changes, you can read the Planning Circular: Payment of infrastructure contributions or levies prior to the issuing of an occupation certificate (PDF, 225 KB).

Legislation

  • Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 – Provides the legislative framework for infrastructure contributions.
    For more details see Part 7 Division 7.1 on the NSW legislation website.
  • Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 – Provides further requirements relating to the making, amending and revocation of contributions plans, giving public notice and other procedural arrangements.
    For more details See Part 4 on the NSW legislation website.

Ministerial Directions for local infrastructure contributions

Name Date issued Purpose
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Amendment Direction 2021 7 December 2021 Permit infrastructure contributions up to the $30,000 threshold for urban release areas in Shoalhaven.
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Levies – City of Sydney) Direction 2021 26 November 2021 To stage the introduction of the maximum 3% Section 7.12 levy under the Central Sydney Development Contributions Plan. The Ministerial Direction manages the transitional arrangements between the maximum 2% and 3% levy rates prior to 1 July 2022 when the maximum 3% levy will apply.
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Further Amendment Direction 2020 18 December 2020 Further amendment to the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Direction 2012.
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Timing of Payments) Direction 2020 25 June 2020 To temporarily defer the payment of local infrastructure contributions and levies until the issuing of an occupation certificate for certain types of development. The direction expires on the last day of the prescribed period within the meaning of section 10.17 of the EP&A Act. The prescribed method has been extended to 31 March 2022.
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Amendment Direction 2020 18 June 2020 The amendment makes special provision for Blacktown and The Hills local government areas for the 6 month period starting on 1 July 2020, to cap local infrastructure contributions at $50,000 per dwelling or per residential lot.
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Information) Direction 2020 18 May 2020 Requests certain councils to provide information relating to the delivery of public amenities and public services specified in local contributions plans, including the staging of works.
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Pooling of Contributions) Direction 2020 18 May 2020 Facilitates the consolidation (pooling) of infrastructure contributions to accelerate the delivery of local infrastructure.
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Further Amendment Direction 2019 20 December 2019 Further amendment to the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Direction 2012.

Initial 2012 direction is amended by 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 directions. A consolidated version of the direction is available for information only.
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Further Amendment Direction 2018 18 December 2018
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Amendment Direction 2018 23 February 2018
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Amendment Direction 2017 17 July 2017  
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Amendment Direction 2016 14 September 2016  
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Levies) Direction 2015 14 April 2016 Prohibits s94A levies where a s94 contribution is required.
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Warriewood Valley) Revocation Direction 2015 22 February 2015 Revokes the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Warriewood Valley) Direction 2011.
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Port of Newcastle) Direction 2014 Issued to Newcastle Council 10 October 2014 Exempts land within the lease areas of the Port of Newcastle from contributions payments (Newcastle LGA).
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Port Botany and Port Kembla) Direction 2013 6 December 2013 Exempts land within the lease areas of Port Botany and Port Kembla from contributions payments (Bayside, Randwick and Wollongong Local Government Areas (LGAs)).
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Hawkesbury City Council) Direction 2013 24 September 2013 Excludes certain items from contribution payments in the Pitt Town Residential Precinct (Hawkesbury LGA).
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Amendment Direction 2013 19 June 2013  
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Direction 2012 21 August 2012 Sets a maximum amount of monetary contributions under s94.
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979
Revocation of Direction in force under section 94E and Direction under section 94E
14 September 2007 Exempts payment of a contribution for development carried out under the Seniors Living SEPP where undertaken by a social housing provider.

Practice notes

The below practice notes are in place to help councils, applicants and the community understand the NSW infrastructure contributions system. They are designed to be read in conjunction with the Act, Regulations and Ministerial Directions.

Name Date issued Description
Section 7.12 fixed development consent levies (PDF, 240 KB) February 2021 Practice note relating to the preparation, adoption and implementation of s7.12 plans, including criteria for metropolitan and regional councils requesting an increase to the standard maximum percentage.
Local Infrastructure Contributions - review by IPART (PDF, 467 KB) January 2019 Practice note outlining the process by which a contribution plan which has a rate above the relevant threshold is reviewed by IPART.
Development Contributions – Introduction (PDF, 342 KB) July 2005 Introduction to the practice notes.
Development Contributions Plans – Section 94 (now s7.11) (PDF, 927 KB) July 2005 Practice note relating to the preparation, adoption and implementation of s7.11 plans, previously known as s94 plans.

Note: Practice notes on planning agreements can be found on the Planning agreements policy webpage.

Circulars

From time to time the department will issue circulars providing additional information on a variety of policy issues. If you would like to look at a particular circular, go to Planning System Circulars.

 

Revoked or superseded documents

Practice notes and Ministerial Directions which have been superseded are maintained for reference. You can view superseded documents relating to local infrastructure contributions policy in the list below:

Name Date issued Description Revoked by
Development Contributions Plans – Section 94A (now s7.12) - Practice note December 2006 Practice note relating to the preparation, adoption and implementation of s7.12 plans, previously known as s94A plans. Section 7.12 fixed development consent levies
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 Direction Under section 94E (section 7.17 of the current Act) 9 September 2009 Exemption from payment of a contribution for development funded under Building the Education Revolution (BER) program. Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Levies) Direction 2015
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 Direction Under section 94E (section 7.17 of the current Act) 10 November 2006 Development for which a s94A contribution cannot be applied and maximum percentage that can be applied. Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Levies) Direction 2015
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Warriewood Valley) Direction 2011 13 May 2011 Capping of contributions in the Warriewood Valley (Pittwater Council). Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Warriewood Valley) Revocation Direction 2015

Page last updated: 12/09/2022