LGAQ Media Release – STATE FAILS RATEPAYERS BY EXEMPTING PRIVATE SCHOOLS

STATE FAILS RATEPAYERS BY EXEMPTING
PRIVATE SCHOOLS

Ratepayers will be forced to pay the infrastructure charges of new private schools as part of planning laws waved through State Parliament this week.

The Local Government Association of Queensland has slammed the move as a blatant cost-shift in which councils and their communities will effectively subsidise elite schools.

“This isn’t chump change – we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars in infrastructure charges per school, tens of millions of dollars over a decade, which will be lumped on councils and struggling mum-and-dad ratepayers,” LGAQ chief executive Greg Hallam said.

“This is yet another case of the State Government shifting a significant financial burden on to ratepayers. Both sides of politics have ignored the advice of local government that this exemption would be unworkable and unsustainable for councils, particularly those in growth corridors.”

The Planning Bill makes non-state school providers exempt from infrastructure charges “where the development is undertaken through Ministerial designation” and denies community appeals against these ministerial decisions.

Under the government’s capped infrastructure charges regime, the LGAQ estimates that councils already subsidise developers more than 30 per cent of the actual cost of infrastructure, representing a funding gap of about $309 million a year.

Mr Hallam said Labor had broken an election promise by approving the Bill. In the lead-up to the 2015 State Election, then Deputy Leader Tim Mulherin made a formal commitment to the LGAQ that Labor’s planning reforms would “not place undue power in the hands of the Planning Minister” and would be “grounded in local communities to recognise and support the central role of local government in land-use planning and decision making”.

“There are components of this Planning Bill that we find seriously concerning and strongly oppose,” Mr Hallam said.

Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006

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