Council to take out low cost loans for infrastructure

Bridge Construction worker. Image: WikicommonsBridge Construction worker. Image: Wikicommons

Councillor Rebecca Gale Collins has urged Central Coast Council to adopt a new NSW Government’s Low Cost Loan Initiative to fund infrastructure for new residential development.

According to Clr Gale Collins’ motion to the May 14 Council meeting, “The NSW Government will invest $31m for Councils to build up to $500m worth of essential infrastructure to support growing communities”.

Her motion was carried without debate.

“The benefit for Central Coast Council is that it will halve the cost of our interest loans, where we borrow for infrastructure that enables new housing supply,” Clr Gale Collins said. “This is a great outcome for the Central Coast region, as Council can now look to bring forward delivery of planned infrastructure in new housing areas,” she said.

“Such infrastructure may include sporting fields and playgrounds, roads, drainage, libraries, community centres, pedestrian and cyclist facilities. “Affordable housing is a key priority for the NSW Government, and a key driver of this Central Coast Council. “We need to prepare for the expected population growth, and increase our housing supply here on the Central Coast. “According to the Central Coast Regional Plan, we will need another 41,000 housing dwellings by 2036.

“The Low Coast Loans Initiative is a real win, and allows us to deliver key infrastructure on behalf of our growing Central Coast community.” NSW Minister for Planning and Housing, Mr Anthony Roberts, said: “This groundbreaking initiative will provide councils with safe, cheaper finance, subsidised by the Government, that will ensure they can provide key infrastructure like local roads, parks, playgrounds and libraries for our ever-changing communities, faster.

“The participation of metropolitan and regional councils in improving their communities through these loans will enable them to deliver better places for present and future generations,” Mr Roberts said. “Eligible councils will see interest costs on their loans halved, so they can confi dently invest in building and providing the essential services their residents and businesses need and deserve.”

The Low Cost Loans Initiative is a joint initiative of the Department of Planning and Environment, the Office of Local Government and the Treasury Corporation. It is part of the Government’s Housing Affordability package. The loans taken out by councils must be more than $1m and be used for infrastructure that enables new housing. The duration of the loan must be no longer than 10 years.

Source: Agenda item 6.1, May 14 Central Coast Council ordinary meeting Media release, May 21 Rebecca Gale Collins, Central Coast Council