NSW Planning and Public Spaces minister Rob Stokes has announced the appointment of Productivity Commissioner Peter Achterstraat, appointed to conduct a review of the present contributions system and formulate recommendations for a new system by year’s end.

Stokes said that he receives industry feedback about the great need for a more transparent and concrete contributions system where it is evident as to who pays for what. He asserts further that contributions reform has been considered out of reach for a long time, but that the NSW government is committed to collaborating with industry to guarantee genuine change.

He says that the path is lined with a mixture of quick victories and long-term reforms, which will guarantee that the NSW retains its place as the economic powerhouse of Australia.

Stokes stated that $70 million will be invested in the co-funding of important new community infrastructure in the high-growth regions of North West Sydney, where thousands of new homes are being constructed.

Stokes says that with a strong rate of population growth, the government must ensure that in those regions where housing supply is being unlocked, the delivery of vital community infrastructure is also enabled, so that people are claiming their homes in connected and vibrant communities.

He says further that the government seeks to work with councils to enable them to spend money they already possess to stimulate their regional economy, and to create more employment opportunities and scenic public spaces.

A sequence of more immediate changes will be submitted for public comment, such as measures that call upon councils to publish the amount they have collected in developer levies and how they have been spent, new guidelines in regards to the State’s Special Infrastructure Contributions, ways to simplify and abbreviate the process for reviewing s7.11 local contributions plans, as well as proposed changes to s7.12 levies and voluntary planning agreements.