Council is required to comply with a range of requirements for financial accountability and public access to information in relation to community infrastructure contributions. These are addressed in the EP&A Regulation and include:

  • maintenance of, and public access to, a contributions register;
  • maintenance of, and public access to, accounting records for contributions receipts and expenditure;
  • annual financial reporting of contributions; and
  • public access to contributions plans and supporting information.

These records are available at Council’s Nowra Administrative Centre.

The Plan contains monetary contribution rates that, when applied to certain residential development, will result in the total monetary contribution exceeding the residential development cap contained in the Minister's Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Direction 2012 (as amended). A list of contribution project rates which when included in the total contributions payable to Council that exceed the cap are detailed in Schedule 6 of this Plan. Where contribution project rates exceed the cap for residential development, Council will not charge contributions in excess of the cap (except for those contribution projects with a current exemption from the cap).

Council may accept an offer by the applicant to provide an “in-kind” contribution project (i.e. the applicant completes part or all of the project work identified in this Plan) or provide another kind of material public benefit as an alternative to making a community infrastructure contribution that is required as a condition of development consent.

Council may accept such alternatives in the following circumstances:

  • the value of the works to be undertaken is at least equal to the value of the contribution project that would otherwise be required under this Plan;
  • the value of the works to be substituted must be provided by the applicant at the time of the request and must be independently certified by a Quantity Surveyor who is registered with the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors or a person who can demonstrate equivalent qualifications;
  • the standard of the works is to Council’s full satisfaction;
  • the applicant is willing to enter into a written agreement for the provision of the works;
  • the provision of the material public benefit will not prejudice the timing or the manner of the provision of community infrastructure included in the Council's capital works program; and
  • acceptance of the offer will not result in piecemeal delivery of works or likely result in the need to reconstruct the works due to likely future adjacent developments (i.e. normally the works will need to relate to a whole street block or a discretely defined precinct).

Acceptance of any such alternative is at the sole discretion of Council. Council may review the valuation of works or land to be dedicated, and may seek the services of an independent person to verify their value. In these cases, all costs and expenses borne by Council in determining the value of the works or land must be paid for by the applicant.

A development applicant may voluntarily offer to enter into a planning agreement with Council in connection to a development application. Under a planning agreement, the applicant may offer to pay money, dedicate land, carry out works, or provide other material public benefit for public purposes. The applicant’s provision under a planning agreement may be additional to, or instead of, making community infrastructure contributions of the type described in this or any other contributions plan. A copy of Council’s Planning Agreement Policy is available on Council’s website or from Council’s Nowra Administrative Centre.

Planning agreements which have been entered into by Council, or are in the process of being prepared, can be viewed on Council’s Planning Register.

Contributions relating to development applications must be paid to Council at the time specified in the condition of development consent that imposes the contribution:

  • Development applications involving subdivision - prior to the release of the Subdivision Certificate (linen plan).
  • Development applications not involving subdivision but where a subsequent Construction Certificate is required - prior to the release of the Construction Certificate.
  • Other development application – prior to the commencement of the construction or occupation of premises.

The timing specified shall generally be in accordance with the following:

  • Contributions relating to complying development certificates must be paid to the Council prior to the issuing of the certificate.
  • Development contributions requirements for staged developments proposed under Division 4.4 of Part 4 of the EP&A Act shall only be imposed as a condition on development consent where that consent also authorises the carrying out of stage 1 of that development. Consents for subsequent stages of the development shall be levied contributions commensurate with the increase in demand for community infrastructure attributable to each stage.

The total monetary contributions detailed in development consent will be adjusted between the date of consent and the date of payment in accordance with Section 4.9 of this Plan.

Should development consent lapse (i.e. development does not commence within the defined commencement period), with or without payment of relevant development contributions, a reassessment of applicable contribution projects will be required at the time of a new development application.

The costs of contributions projects included in this Plan and the monetary contribution rates are exempt from Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Deferred or periodic payment of contributions may be permitted in certain circumstances. Deferred payment is available to all applicants for a maximum of two years from the standard payment date and this amount is indexed annually as detailed in Section 4.9 of this Plan. Periodic payment is only available to tenants and businesses. A copy of Council’s policy Payment of Development Contributions and Section 64 Headwork Charges by Deferment or Instalments (under special circumstances), which details the requirements for deferred or periodic payment of contributions, is available on Council’s website or from Council’s Nowra Administrative Centre.

To assist in the delivery of community infrastructure, this Plan authorises monetary development contributions paid for different contribution projects to be selectively pooled and applied progressively to priority projects within a defined planning area. Funds will be pooled based on project type and planning area, for example, road projects in Planning Area 1 will be pooled to allow the pooled funding to be applied to priority projects to allow them to be undertaken in a timelier manner. This will help to facilitate development that may otherwise be held up awaiting construction of essential infrastructure.

As detailed in Section 4.11 these priorities may be changed through future reviews of the Plan.

The purpose of this clause is to ensure that the monetary contribution rates imposed at the time of development consent or complying development certificate are adjusted to reflect the indexed cost of the provision of infrastructure included in this Plan.

Council may, without the necessity of preparing a new or amending contributions plan, make changes to the monetary contribution rates set out in this Plan to reflect annual changes to the Consumer Price Index.

The contribution rates will be indexed as follows:

$CA X Current CPI

Base CPI

Where:

  • § $CA is the contribution rate for works schedule items at the time of adoption of the Plan expressed in dollars
  • Current CPI is the Consumer Price Index (All Groups Index) for Sydney as published by the Australian Statistician at the time of the review of the contribution rate
  • Base CPI is the Consumer Price Index (All Groups Index) for Sydney as published by the Australian Statistician at the date of adoption of this Plan

Note: The contribution rate will not be less than the contribution rate specified at the date of the adoption of this Plan or the rate that is subsequently indexed on 1 July. A list of past contribution rates applied by Council to this Plan is shown in Schedule 5 of this Plan.

An "indexed estimate" appears on all project pages to recognise the revised project estimate amount which has increased over time due to annual indexation.

Construction certificates and the obligation of accredited certifiers

In accordance with section 7.21 of the EP&A Act and clause 146 of the EP&A Regulation, a certifying authority issuing a complying development certificate for secondary dwelling under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009, must impose a condition that requires payment of monetary contributions prior to commencement of works. This payment can be made to Council three working days after Council has received the consent from the accredited certifier.

In particular, the certifier must ensure that the applicant provides them a Council-issued receipt(s) confirming that contributions have been fully paid following the requirements of clause 142(2) of the EP&A Regulation. Failure to follow this procedure may render such a certificate invalid, exposing the certifier to legal action.

The only exceptions to this requirement are where a works in kind, material public benefit, dedication of land and/or deferred payment arrangement has been agreed to by Council in writing. In such cases, Council will issue a letter confirming that it agrees to the alternative payment method.

Complying development and the obligation of accredited certifiers

In accordance with section 7.21(1) of the EP&A Act, accredited certifiers must impose a condition requiring monetary contributions in accordance with this Plan.

The conditions imposed must be consistent with the Council’s standard development contributions consent conditions and be strictly in accordance with this Plan. It is the professional responsibility of accredited certifiers to accurately calculate the contributions and to apply the contribution condition correctly. Only conditions requiring monetary contributions can be imposed by an accredited certifier.

Accredited certifiers for complying development should refer particularly to section 3.9 of this Plan concerning the precise calculation of development contributions and the use of the on-line calculator.

In accordance with the EP&A Act, when an accredited certifier imposes a condition on a complying development certificate, the condition must be in accordance with this Contributions Plan and comply with any relevant directions given by the Minister under section 7.17(1) (a), (b) or (d) of the EP&A Act.

This Plan authorises contributions that are consistent with directions made by the Minister up to the date of the Plan coming into effect. The onus is on the accredited certifier to ensure that any condition imposed on a complying development certificate is consistent with any current direction issued by the Minister.

The Plan’s assumptions (including its supporting strategies, anticipated development yield and project cost parameters) require monitoring and review on a regular basis.

Monitoring actual developments, population changes and community infrastructure demands will allow appropriate updating and amendment of contribution projects detailed in this Plan. The cost of works proposed by the Plan (including land values) will also need to be reviewed over time in addition to the cost indexing provisions in this Plan. These strategies are to ensure that at any particular time, contribution rates fairly and reasonably reflect development demand for infrastructure addressed by the Plan.

Council’s aim is to undertake minor reviews of this Plan annually and major reviews at four yearly intervals after the date of adoption of this Plan. This timeframe is to link into Council’s integrated reporting cycle and to consider revised population forecasts.

Amendments that have been made to the Contributions Plan can be viewed at Council’s Planning Register.

Inactive projects

Through undertaking a review of this Plan, Council may include some new or inactive contribution projects.

An inactive contribution project is a project for which Council has levied contributions on all of the anticipated development in the contribution project catchment. That is, it is assumed that all contributions relating to inactive projects have been made or will be made. Council shall not levy contributions on development for a contribution project after it has been declared inactive. However, contributions for projects that were imposed on consents that have been declared inactive subsequent to the issue of the consent are still required to be made. Consequently, payment of monetary contributions will still be expected if a project is made inactive after the date of consent but before payment is received.

Making a contribution project inactive in this Plan does not necessarily mean that the infrastructure item is completed. Rather, it is an indication that the contribution project cannot be funded from contributions beyond those already required under existing consents.

In such circumstances, Council may consider substituting an inactive project for works which are more appropriate to meet the identified development demand. This substitution could occur where:

  • contributions are exhausted due to infrastructure cost increases between collection and delivery of the original contribution project;
  • there is less demand for services than forecast; or
  • demand has changed; or
  • Council wishes to combine some types of community infrastructure (e.g. combining a child care centre and community centre to create a multi-purpose facility to respond to community needs).

However, should a project be made inactive in this Plan, and the contribution project has been fully funded, any surplus contributions collected or pending payment will be allocated by Council to a similar project that is provided by Council to meet the original development demand in the catchment area.

Council is not obligated under legislation to refund development contributions. However, Council may consider refunding development contribution payments where a developer has surrendered their consent, or where an error has been made by Council. A request for a refund must be made within 12 months of paying the contributions.

Council will only consider refunding contributions that have been paid if Council considers the refund will not materially impact on Council’s cash flow and ability to deliver works in Council’s Capital Works Program. Where a project has commenced, money has been expended, or is a recoupment project, a refund will not be possible.