Housing Industry Opposes Special Rates Plan
Mount Barker Council is reported to be considering a plan to introduce rates for special infrastructure needs in certain areas that had been rezoned by the South Australian Government.
Explaining its plan to impose additional rates, council CEO, Andrew Stuart, pointed out that the state government ministerial development plan amendment that was introduced two years ago has created special conditions in the area.
The council was obligated to provide the relevant infrastructure needed, such as a waste water plant, recreational facilities and roads, to support the new communities that are expected to arrive in the next 20 years.
The Housing Industry Association (HIA) does not support the introduction of special levies, and HIA director, Robert Harding, warned that such additional costs would deter potential new home buyers from purchasing in the area. Mr Harding cited a previous situation that occurred in New South Wales around ten years ago, when similar special rates were introduced. He claimed that it had a crushing effect on the local building industry and on the viability of housing affordability.
In some cases where NSW councils have implemented similar rates schemes, Mr Harding stated that it has taken nearly 15 years for the housing industry to recover.