Next Steps: The Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Infrastructure Contributions) Bill 2021

16/08/2021 - Next Steps: The Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Infrastructure Contributions) Bill 2021

Minute by the Lord Mayor

To Council:

Last month, Council resolved to strongly oppose the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Infrastructure Contributions) Bill 2021 that was introduced in June 2021 as part of the budget legislation. I have written to the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces and the Premier to request that the Bill is withdrawn.

The way in which the NSW Government has introduced this legislative change without proper consultation and transparency shows total disregard for the important work of local government.

This was confirmed by the Parliamentary Inquiry report that was released on 10 August 2021, which recommended Parliament not proceed with the Bill until the detailed regulations were developed and consulted on, and the IPART inquiries were finalised.

The Minister for Planning and Public Spaces says he is concerned about communities missing out on new local roads, parks and other vital infrastructure. This is grossly misleading and wrong. 

His “solution” is for the NSW Government to take up to half the developer contributions Councils collect for new local roads, parks and other vital infrastructure and put it in the State’s coffers – with no guarantee that money will be spent in the area where the development is occurring. This is from the same Government that has given us the sports rorts scandal and openly said pork-barrelling taxpayers money is ok.

The NSW Government imposes housing targets and directions on Councils which increase density. But this legislation will effectively remove the ability of Councils to provide the new local roads, parks and other vital infrastructure that make this density acceptable to communities. In the same breath, the Government has told us if we want to continue delivering quality infrastructure to support the new developments and increased density that they have mandated, we should raise rates.

This is not equitable.

On 6 and 11 August 2021, I hosted two roundtables with twenty-nine Mayors and their General Managers and Chief Executive Officers from metropolitan Sydney. It is clear they share our concerns about this assault on the ability of local government to meet the infrastructure expectations of our communities.

Mayors from all sides of politics were concerned about the impact of this legislative change on our communities, and there was consensus that the Bill must be stopped.

Mayors agreed to coordinate action that will enable Councils to tell their communities about the impact of these changes, undertake coordinated lobbying of Members of Parliament, and contribute to joint advertising and community awareness. I am asking Council to support the City of Sydney’s participation in this campaign by allocating the necessary funding.

Recommendation

It is resolved that Council:

(A)      note:

(i)         on 11 August 2021, the Lord Mayor wrote to the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces and the Premier to request that the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Infrastructure Contributions) Bill 2021 be withdrawn;

(ii)        on 6 and 11 August 2021, the Lord Mayor met with twenty nine mayors and their General Managers and Chief Executive Officers from metropolitan Sydney to discuss concerns about the Bill;

(iii)      that the Mayors agreed to coordinate a joint advocacy strategy to defeat the Bill with the first priority being to deliver a clear and consistent message to communities about the impact of the proposed legislative changes; and

(iv)      on 10 August 2021, the Parliamentary Inquiry report was released, which recommended Parliament not proceed with the Bill until the detailed regulations were developed and consulted on, and the IPART inquiries were finalised;

(B)      endorse supporting a joint advocacy strategy with other Councils from metropolitan Sydney to defeat the Bill; and

(C)      approve up to $80,000 from the 2021/22 General Contingency Fund for the City of Sydney to contribute to and coordinate a joint campaign with other metropolitan Sydney councils to deliver a clear and consistent message to our communities about what the proposed legislative changes mean and the impact of this on our local area, including for advertising and a community flyer.

COUNCILLOR CLOVER MOORE

Lord Mayor

Moved by the Chair (the Lord Mayor), seconded by Councillor Scully –

That the Minute by the Lord Mayor be endorsed and adopted.

Amendment. Moved by Councillor Scott, seconded by Councillor Phelps –

It is resolved that Council:

(A)      note:

(i)         on 11 August 2021, the Lord Mayor wrote to the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces and the Premier regarding the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Infrastructure Contributions) Bill;

(ii)        that Councillor Linda Scott and Local Government NSW (LGNSW) have:

(a)       met with the NSW Planning Minister on 17 June and 22 July 2021 about this matter;

(b)       met with the NSW Shadow Planning Minister on 6 July and 15 July 2021 about this matter;

(c)       written to cross benchers and independents on 24 June 2021;

(d)       authored a Local Government NSW submission, submitted on 11 July 2021;

(e)       appeared at a parliamentary inquiry hearing on 16 July 2021;

(f)        held repeated meetings with Department of Planning Industry and Environment staff;

(g)       included a template Mayoral Minute in the LGNSW Weekly on 26 July 2021;

(h)       written to NSW Mayors on 27 July 2021 with template materials; and

(i)        written a further letter to cross benchers, independents and committee members on 26 July 2021;

(iii)      on 6 and 11 August 2021, the Lord Mayor met with twenty nine mayors and their General Managers and Chief Executive Officers from metropolitan Sydney to discuss concerns about the Bill;

(iv)      that the Mayors agreed to coordinate a joint advocacy strategy to defeat the Bill with the first priority being to deliver a clear and consistent message to communities about the impact of the proposed legislative changes; and

(v)       on 10 August 2021, the Parliamentary Inquiry report was released, which recommended Parliament not proceed with the Bill until the detailed regulations were developed and consulted on, and the IPART inquiries were finalised; and

(B)      request Local Government NSW to organise a joint advocacy strategy with other Councils to defeat the Bill and seek funding from councils to do so.

The amendment was lost on the following show of hands –

Ayes (3)          Councillors Chung, Phelps and Scott

Noes (6)          The Chair (the Lord Mayor), Councillors Kok, Miller, Scully, Thalis and Vithoulkas.

Amendment lost. 

Amendment. Moved by Councillor Chung, seconded by Councillor Vithoulkas –

It is resolved that Council:

(A)      note:

(i)         on 11 August 2021, the Lord Mayor wrote to the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces and the Premier to request that the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Infrastructure Contributions) Bill 2021 be withdrawn;

(ii)        on 6 and 11 August 2021, the Lord Mayor met with twenty nine mayors and their General Managers and Chief Executive Officers from metropolitan Sydney to discuss concerns about the Bill;

(iii)      that the Mayors agreed to coordinate a joint advocacy strategy to defeat the Bill with the first priority being to deliver a clear and consistent message to communities about the impact of the proposed legislative changes; and

(iv)      on 10 August 2021, the Parliamentary Inquiry report was released, which recommended Parliament not proceed with the Bill until the detailed regulations were developed and consulted on, and the IPART inquiries were finalised;

(v)       that ordinarily Council would be currently in caretaker mode as at the current date to prevent the expenditure of the sort contemplated in the Lord Mayoral Minute; and

(vi)      that the Local Government elections are imminent and that expenditure by Council on leaflets to all residents signed by the Lord Mayor would not be appropriate; and

(B)      approve up to $5,000 from the 2021/22 General Contingency Fund for the City of Sydney to contribute to an Local Government NSW campaign to deliver a clear and consistent message to our communities about what the proposed legislative changes mean.

The amendment was lost on the following show of hands –

Ayes (4)          Councillors Chung, Phelps, Scott and Vithoulkas

Noes (5)          The Chair (the Lord Mayor), Councillors Kok, Miller, Scully and Thalis.

Amendment lost.

The substantive Minute was carried on the following show of hands –

Ayes (8)          The Chair (the Lord Mayor), Councillors Kok, Miller, Phelps, Scott, Scully, Thalis and Vithoulkas

Noes (1)          Councillor Chung.

Minute carried.

S051491

Points of Order

During discussion of this Item, Councillor Scott raised a point of order, stating that the Chair (the Lord Mayor) had misspoken in relation to the meeting of Councils.

The Chair (the Lord Mayor) upheld the point of order and withdrew her comment.

Councillor Scott raised a further point of order stating that Councillor Scully had impugned her motives.

The Chair (the Lord Mayor) did not uphold the point of order.

Adjournment

At this stage of the meeting, at 6.43pm, it was moved by the Chair (the Lord Mayor), seconded by Councillor Thalis –

That the meeting be adjourned for approximately 20 minutes.

Carried unanimously.

At the resumption of Council at 7.08pm, the Chair (the Lord Mayor) and Councillors Chung, Kok, Miller, Phelps, Scott, Scully, Thalis and Vithoulkas were present.