DEVELOPERS of Ballarat West’s Growth Precinct will be forced to pay $160,000 per hectare in a levy introduced by the City of Ballarat to help ease infrastructure costs.
The development contribution plan is a comparable fee to that of other growth areas around the state — the most expensive being $285,000 per hectare at Clyde North.
As well as the levy, a $90,000 per hectare drainage fee and a $900-per-dwelling community infrastructure levy will also be charged.
The developer’s funds, together with a $41 million contribution by the City of Ballarat over 30 years, will fund the $290 million required for infrastructure in the Ballarat West Growth Precinct, including the new suburb of Lucas.
City of Ballarat councillor Judy Verlin said development levies were common throughout Australia and, in this case, will contribute towards vital infrastructure for thousands of people.
“The main message is that Ballarat West needs a significant amount of infrastructure invested in it and council is keen to ensure that doesn’t come at the expense to the rest of Ballarat,” she said.
“We have a responsibility to maintain the services and infrastructure to the rest of Ballarat and there is only so much money that council has in its budget — we’re ensuring one does not compromise the other.”
Cr Verlin said council wanted to be “ahead of the game” on population growth.
She said the Ballarat West Growth Precinct will be home to up to 50,000 people inside 18,000 building lots.
“That’s a significant community in its own right.”
Plans have already been made for schools, shops, a police station, fire station, ovals, shopping centres, parklands, sporting facilities, a library and community health centres.
“There’s all of the sorts of things that are required to have a sense of community,” Cr Verlin said. “That’s what makes a difference to a housing development and to a new suburb.”