Under the Planning Act 2016, Council’s Adopted Infrastructure Charges Resolution (AICR) must include criteria for deciding a conversion application, and these criteria must be consistent with the criteria identified in the Ministers Guidelines and Rules (MGR).
Many Council’s have adopted conversion criteria in their AICR documents which require infrastructure to be located inside the Priority Infrastructure Area (PIA) in order to be considered trunk infrastructure (and therefore be eligible for an offset against any levied infrastructure charges).
We believe that the use of the PIA in this manner is inconsistent with the criteria identified in the MGR, and the definition of the PIA in the Planning Act 2016 on the following basis:
- The Planning Act 2016 defines the PIA as an area that must accommodate between 10 – 15 years of urban development. This definition in no way intends to limit the extent to which Council’s plan for future growth and the necessary trunk infrastructure required to service that growth. Further, this definition does not support the use of the PIA boundary as a tool for determining whether infrastructure is deemed to provide a trunk function or not..
- This is demonstrated by way of Council’s Local Government Infrastructure Plans (LGIPs), which generally identify trunk infrastructure (both existing and future) outside the PIA boundary.
- The MGR conversion criteria requires consistency with the following:
“the function and purpose of the infrastructure is consistent with other trunk infrastructure identified in an LGIP…”
The application of an ‘inside PIA’ criteria therefore conflicts with the MGR, as it results in the exclusion of infrastructure that is ‘consistent with the function and purpose’ of identified LGIP infrastructure.
The purpose of the Priority Infrastructure Area and its application with respect to the conditioning of development is widely misunderstood. It was for this reason that Integran contributed to the preparation of a PIA fact sheet published by the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, which identifies common misconceptions about the function and purpose of the PIA. This fact sheet states that “The PIA boundary has no impact on whether an infrastructure item is trunk or not”.
If you have development condition requiring construction of infrastructure that you believe has been classified as non-trunk due to the ‘PIA criteria’ above, Integran would be more than happy to discuss how we may help.