Mellor: Scrap infrastructure charges

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The managing director of BIS Shrapnel has called on state governments to turn their back on infrastructure charges on new dwellings.

Robert Mellor told the audience at BIS Shrapnel's Sydney economic outlook event that governments "have got to say they're not going to load up homebuyers with more infrastructure charges" due to spiralling affordability concerns.

"The bottom line is you can't cry about affordability and continue to load up existing people buying new dwellings," he said. "The market needs more new dwellings. That won't come from first home buyers just getting into the market - although that will allow upgraders to upgrade, and we want some of them to be building new dwellings. We also need investors out there buying up those dwellings.

Instead, Mellor suggested that the costs of infrastructure improvements should be borne by the community as a whole.

"The baby boomers - myself included - all benefitted over the years under that policy," he continued. "If it doesn't happen, we'll just be paying out more money to our children to get them into a dwelling anyway, because that's the only way they'll be able to do it. Those that can't because of their family situation will be destined to spend the rest of their life in rental accommodation."

Mellor singled out the NSW government for particular criticism.

"Some nine or ten weeks ago the NSW government announced there would be a limit of $20,000 on state and local government infrastructure charges unless there was special permission to go above that limit. Now they've put that back up to $30,000.
"This has to turn around, otherwise this will ultimately impact upon the level of economic growth in the state."

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