Legislative changes for NSW councils to unlock infrastructure funding

The Queensland Government is providing $1 million to help MATES in Construction expand its suicide prevention program to rural and remote areas in the state.The NSW Government is making legislative changes in an effort to make it easier for councils to unlock local infrastructure contribution funds to support jobs.

Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said new legislative changes will provide councils with more flexibility to invest funds in vital community infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The changes will enable councils to pool funds across contribution plans, allowing them to bring forward planned projects that may not have received all of the funds yet.

Mr. Stokes said he would also require some councils with significant funds to prepare a works plan detailing how they will invest money in their accounts over the next 18 months, with the aim of increasing local job opportunities.

“By providing more flexibility with infrastructure contribution funds, councils will be able to quickly invest in vital local infrastructure including public spaces, roads, footpaths and drainage,” Mr. Stokes said.

He said releasing just one-third of council-held funds could generate and additional $1 billion of infrastructure spending to stimulate the state’s recovery.

These changes come alongside the announcement that seven projects in Blacktown and The Hills have been supported by the government’s $70 million accelerated infrastructure fund.

“This is funding for local roads, public space, stormwater infrastructure, and community facilities which will unlock plans for the development of thousands of new homes and employment land in the North West, and immediately bring down contributions charges,” Mr. Stokes said.

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