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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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Contributions for local infrastructure, also known as developer contributions, are charged by councils when new development occurs. They are used to provide infrastructure to support development, including open space, 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 must submit their plans to IPART for independent review. Section 7.11 was previously known as section 94.
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  • 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. Questions about specific contributions plans and contribution rates should be addressed to the relevant council.

 

The department sets the policy framework under which councils collect and administer contributions. This includes legislation, directions made by the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces and practice notes.

 

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.
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  • 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.

 

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.

 

COVID-19 emergency response

In 2020, the NSW Government made changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) in response to the COVID-19 emergency. A series of Ministerial Directions were made to give effect to some of these changes.

 

  • In June 2020 a new Ministerial Direction was made to temporarily defer the payment of local infrastructure contributions and levies until the issuing of an occupation certificate. This Direction is in effect for the duration of the prescribed period within the meaning of section 10.17 of the Act.
  • On 25 March 2021, the COVID-19 Recovery Act 2021 extended the COVID-19 prescribed period from 25 March 2021 to 31 March 2022. 
    • The extension applies to Ministerial directions and determinations under the EP&A Act relating to State and local infrastructure contributions. 
  • Any reference to the prescribed period within the meaning of section 10.17 of the EP&A Act is a reference to the extended period ending on 31 March 2022. 

    To assist councils with these changes, we have provided:
    - Examples of condition of development consent below.
    - More detailed information in the following Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 Response measures: Infrastructure contributions – Timing of payment (PDF, 129 KB).

Sample condition

X.1 A monetary contribution that is required to be paid under the conditions of this consent must be paid before the issue of the first occupation certificate in respect of any building to which this consent relates, except as provided by condition X.2.

X.2 If no construction certificate in respect of the erection of any building to which the consent relates has been issued before or on 25 September 2022, the monetary contribution must be paid before the issue of the [first] construction certificate after that date for any such building.

X.3 Conditions X.1 and X.2 do not prevent the entry into an arrangement with the Y Council for deferred payment of the monetary contribution in accordance with the policy for deferred payments set out in Z contributions plan.

 

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).

 

Ministerial Directions for local infrastructure contributions

 
Name Date issued Purpose
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Further Amendment Direction 2020 Date issued18 December 2020 PurposeFurther amendment to the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Direction 2012.
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Timing of Payments) Direction 2020 Date issued25 June 2020 PurposeTo 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.
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Amendment Direction 2020 Date issued18 June 2020 PurposeThe 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.
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Information) Direction 2020 Date issued18 May 2020 PurposeRequests 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.
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Pooling of Contributions) Direction 2020 Date issued18 May 2020 PurposeFacilitates the consolidation (pooling) of infrastructure contributions to accelerate the delivery of local infrastructure.
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Further Amendment Direction 2019 Date issued20 December 2019 PurposeFurther 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.
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Further Amendment Direction 2018 Date issued18 December 2018 Purpose
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Amendment Direction 2018 Date issued23 February 2018 Purpose
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Amendment Direction 2017 Date issued17 July 2017 Purpose 
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Amendment Direction 2016 Date issued14 September 2016 Purpose 
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Levies) Direction 2015 Date issued14 April 2016 PurposeProhibits s94A levies where a s94 contribution is required.

 

NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Warriewood Valley) Revocation Direction 2015 Date issued22 February 2015 PurposeRevokes the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Warriewood Valley) Direction 2011.
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Port of Newcastle) Direction 2014 Date issuedIssued to Newcastle Council 10 October 2014 PurposeExempts land within the lease areas of the Port of Newcastle from contributions payments (Newcastle LGA).
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Port Botany and Port Kembla) Direction 2013 Date issued6 December 2013 PurposeExempts land within the lease areas of Port Botany and Port Kembla from contributions payments (Bayside, Randwick and Wollongong Local Government Areas (LGAs)).
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Hawkesbury City Council) Direction 2013 Date issued24 September 2013 PurposeExcludes certain items from contribution payments in the Pitt Town Residential Precinct (Hawkesbury LGA).
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Amendment Direction 2013 Date issued19 June 2013 Purpose 
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Direction 2012 Date issued21 August 2012 PurposeSets a maximum amount of monetary contributions under s94.
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979
Revocation of Direction in force under section 94E and Direction under section 94E
Date issued14 September 2007 PurposeExempts 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 development contributions system. They are designed to be read in conjunction with the Act, Regulations and Ministerial Directions. 

 

The Development Contributions Plans – Section 94A (now s7.12) Practice Note has been updated (see below) to include separate criteria for metropolitan and regional councils requesting an increase to the standard maximum section 7.12 percentage levy of 1%.

 
Name Date issued Description
NameSection 7.12 fixed development consent levies (PDF, 240 KB) Date issuedFebruary 2021 DescriptionPractice note relating to the preparation, adoption and implementation of s7.12 plans.
NameLocal Infrastructure Contributions - review by IPART (PDF, 467 KB) Date issuedJanuary 2019 DescriptionPractice note outlining the process by which a contribution plan which has a rate above the relevant threshold is reviewed by IPART.
NameDevelopment Contributions – Introduction (PDF, 342 KB) Date issuedJuly 2005 DescriptionIntroduction to the practice notes.
NameDevelopment Contributions Plans – Section 94 (now s7.11) (PDF, 927 KB) Date issuedJuly 2005 DescriptionPractice 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.

 

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
NameDevelopment Contributions Plans – Section 94A (now s7.12) - Practice note Date issuedDecember 2006 DescriptionPractice note relating to the preparation, adoption and implementation of s7.12 plans, previously known as s94A plans. Revoked bySection 7.12 fixed development consent levies
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 Direction Under section 94E (section 7.17 of the current Act) Date issued9 September 2009 DescriptionExemption from payment of a contribution for development funded under Building the Education Revolution (BER) program. Revoked byEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Levies) Direction 2015
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 Direction Under section 94E (section 7.17 of the current Act) Date issued10 November 2006 DescriptionDevelopment for which a s94A contribution cannot be applied and maximum percentage that can be applied. Revoked byEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Levies) Direction 2015
NameEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Warriewood Valley) Direction 2011 Date issued13 May 2011 DescriptionCapping of contributions in the Warriewood Valley (Pittwater Council). Revoked byEnvironmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions – Warriewood Valley) Revocation Direction 2015

Page last updated: 29/04/2021