Size does matter: negotiating infrastructure charges and state development levies in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland

Kristian Ruming, Nicole Gurran, Bill Randolph

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


    There is growing concern about the financial impact of government regulations and charges relating to the development process on the cost and affordability of housing in Australia (RDC 2006a, UDIA 2007). With escalating housing unaffordability, this concern has stimulated serious discussion within the housing industry on the impact of the planning process on housing costs, including the costs of complying with building and design controls, time taken to secure approval, and fees and charges for administration, infrastructure or other public services associated with development. While there is a growing body of research addressing the indirect impacts of the planning system on the land and housing market (Barker 2006, Bramley 2007, Evans 2004), there remains considerable uncertainty over the nature of these costs and their impact in different locations and on different developers. The impact of these charges on developers and first purchasers is far from universal. Drawing on interviews with developers of various sizes and employees of local councils and state agencies from New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland under taken as part of a recent Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) funded project, this paper argues that large developers are both more able and willing to incorporate development regulations/charges. In contrast, small developers are less supportive of state based infrastructure charges and development regulations as they are seen to have a greater impact on the development margin and the financial viability of a project. Further, it is found that large developers are in a more powerful position to negotiate the type and timing of contributions. In particular, this comes through significant ‘in-kind’ works and negotiated development and infrastructure plans with approval authorities (local councils or state agencies). This paper challenges the assertion that state charges and levies are passed first purchasers in all cases.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication2009 Housing Researchers Conference
    Subtitle of host publicationrefereed conference proceedings
    Place of PublicationKensington, N.S.W.
    PublisherCity Futures Research Centre
    Number of pages19
    ISBN (Print)9781740440325
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    EventAustralasia Housing Researchers Conference (9th : 2009) - Sydney
    Duration: 5 Aug 20097 Aug 2009


    ConferenceAustralasia Housing Researchers Conference (9th : 2009)


    • Infrastructure Charges
    • Planning
    • Affordability
    • House Market
    • Development Contributions


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