14 April 2014
With respect to this benchmarking exercise, the Urban Taskforce is of the view that the cost of local infrastructure plan preparation, management and administration should not be passed on to the development industry as an additional cost in the plan. Plan preparation and general administration of a local infrastructure plan should be considered part of councils’ core responsibilities.
05 March 2014
The Urban Taskforce is supportive of the Benchmarking exercise being undertaken by theIndependent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal. We believe that it is essential that clear benchmarks be established based on credible independent data. However, the benchmarking exercise must not be seen as the end point of an investigation into infrastructure funding. The benchmarks established must be tested in the real world and regularly reviewed.
The Urban Taskforce's Property Person of the Year is a major fund raising event for two charities- Warrah Homes & St Vincent's Prostate Cancer Research. The 2012 Property Person of the Year, Ross McDiven of Brookfield Multiplex went further than raising money and organised a Bathroom Blitz to restore many substandard bathrooms in Warrah’s accommodation buildings. Brookfield Multiplex organised free contributions from around 20 consultants and subcontractors who supplied free materials and fittings along with labour to transform the old bathrooms. Click here to view the flyer explaining what the Bathroom Blitz did and for a list of all those involved.
05 March 2014
While we accept that the Council has a delicate balancing act to perform, we believe that the draft Blue Mountains Local Environmental Plan 2013 ("the draft plan") tries to do more than it's intended purpose. That is, the draft plan includes many zone objectives, clauses and standards that are unnecessary, inappropriate for inclusion in a statutory plan or simply wrong, discriminatory and anticompetitive.
14 February 2014
While supporting the general direction of the changes to BASIX we are concerned about timing relative to the current concerns with housing affordability. We are aware that the NSW Government is looking at a number of regulatory changes to prescribed payments, bonds for defects and even levies to subsidise lower cost housing and that all of these could lift NSW housing costs by around 10%. The Urban Taskforce argues that more stringent BASIX requirements which will increase the cost of new housing should not be introduced at this point in time.
21 January 2014
We are dismayed to see the attacks leveled at the Planning Bill at the end of last year which will at best result in a compromised, watered down version of the Bill that bears little relationship to the White Paper reforms.
19 December 2013
The Planning Bill has not yet cleared parliament and we argue that the
suggested amendments to the Bill will significantly reduce its effectiveness and cannot be supported by the Urban Taskforce in its current form. However, the Green and White Papers outline changes to the planning system that do not require the introduction of new legislation and we say that their proper implementation would achieve much for the development industry and delivery of urgently needed housing.
11 November 2013
The Urban Taskforce appreciates the importance of Regional Growth Plans as a means of coordinating local governments to drive regional planning and infrastructure delivery. We have
reviewed the Illawarra discussion paper and our key issues for the Regional Growth Plan are the need to:
- set clear minimum housing targets;
- encourage land use flexibility; and,
- identify an equitable means of funding infrastructure to support housing production.
16th October 2013
We are very concerned with statements made by the Minister for Planning made via media release of 19 September 2013. The Minister announced significant changes to the reform package detailed in the White Paper including a lessening of the focus on Code Assessable development, maintaining the existing thirty five (35) land use zones, introducing changes to the existing, successful Complying Development system and allowing local variations to State based codes. We see these amendments as being a major watering down of necessary and urgently needed reforms.