Property Council accuses local governments of “stockpiling” infrastructure funding

Sydney’s local governments are sitting on more than $1 billion in unspent infrastructure funds, according to the Property Council of Australia.

Its audit of infrastructure levies from the 2015-16 financial year for 27 councils found that $594,527,000 came in, but only $510,052,000 was spent, an increase of 11.7 per cent on the previous year.

“Councils are sitting on a billion dollars in unspent funds, funds that should be spent on providing services for the local community – funding libraries, local parks, sporting grounds,” PCA NSW executive director Jane Fitzgerald said.

“This money is sitting in the bank earning interest – $30 million in interest over 2015/16 – instead of being used for the local community. This money is provided to councils to boost local facilities but instead they are hoarding it.

“With a booming population and big new growth centres across Sydney, it is vital that this money is used to ease the pressure on our community.

Ms Fitzgerald said the research provided evidence that tighter controls were needed to compel councils to “swiftly” spend funds on infrastructure.

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