Pittwater Council has condemned the NSW Government’s decision to cut developer levies on all new homes in NSW to $20,000 per dwelling as a ‘slap in the face for Pittwater residents.’ Developer levies – known as Section 94 contributions – are levied by councils on new developments to help fund the cost of providing basic infrastructure such as roads, drainage networks, community facilities, parks, playgrounds and ovals.

The announcement by the state government late last week means that all NSW councils will now be left with large shortfalls in funding for vital community facilities and services.

“In Pittwater’s case it will cut revenue for infrastructure in Warriewood by up to two thirds,” said General Manager Mark Ferguson. Mr Ferguson said that the previous Section 94 developer contribution for each new dwelling provided as part of the Warriewood Valley Urban Land Release was $63,306.

“We will now have to seriously consider suspending major capital works projects to free up money to provide basic infrastructure for new developments in Warriewood,” he said. “This situation is further complicated by the uncertainty surrounding the Meriton proposal for 600 units in Warriewood.”

The Meriton proposal is being assessed as a major planning proposal, meaning that the decision on the development will be made by the NSW Minister for Planning, not the Council. Pittwater Mayor Harvey Rose condemned the state government’s decision as ‘outrageous.’

“The fact the announcement was made at 5.30pm on a Friday night shows the government knows how unpopular and indefensible this decision is,” he said.

“I am shocked that the Government can have so little regard for local residents who will now be expected to foot the bill for Sydney’s new growth areas,” he said.

“Why are Pittwater ratepayers forced to pay for facilities for new residents when they don’t have the same facilities themselves?” “I urge all ratepayers to lobby their local member and Premier Kenneally to convey their disgust at this short-sighted government policy.”