A local MP has called on Campbelltown City Council to rule out imposing a levy on Ingleburn residents to undertake flood drainage works that he says will ultimately benefit developers.
Member for Macquarie Fields Anoulack Chanthivong says the proposed levy was floated twice in reports to councillors in August 2018 and April 2019 as a means to raise at least $20 million to mitigate flooding issues in the Ingleburn CBD.
The reports outlined council’s planning proposal for Ingleburn CBD which would raise height limits to eight stories – opening the door to developers keen to cash in on the relaxed development rules.
Mr Chanthivong has written to Campbelltown Council twice, calling on them to rule out an extra levy on ratepayers.
Director of City Development Jim Baldwin provided the following response to the MP’s call: “Whilst the Council has identified that major works are currently required to mitigate the flooding of areas within and surrounding the Ingleburn CBD, the Council has not considered any report that recommends the levying of its ratepayers for the required works, nor has it recommended that it should.”
The Macquarie Fields MP says he wants to make sure local ratepayers are aware of a potential levy, as he indicated in his representations to council.
“Let’s be clear, developers will be the ones to profit most from flood mitigation works in Ingleburn that will pave the way for high rise monstrosities,” Mr Chanthivong said.
“I am very concerned about the negative financial impact that an extra levy would have on already tight household budgets and the precedent of ratepayers subsidising works that will ultimately benefit developers.”
Council had questions to answer on this issue, he said.
“Will all Campbelltown ratepayers be subjected to this potential levy or just those who live in Ingleburn?” he said.
“Or will this potential levy only apply to the residents in the high rise developments in Ingleburn?
“And how long will this potential levy apply?
“So far, council has been unable to provide answers to such questions and I think ratepayers should be concerned.”
Council is seeking a green light from the State Government that would allow its planning proposal for the Ingleburn CBD to proceed to public exhibition.
“My Stop the Squeeze campaign made it clear that 95 percent of local respondents don’t want the high rise and high density development proposed,” Mr Chanthivong said.
“It will be impossible to retain Ingleburn’s village character with the scale of development allowed by the plan.
“My motivation behind the Stop the Squeeze survey was to give a voice to my constituents.
“I now ask the council to listen to the concerns of the local community and implement planning policies that accurately reflect the views of my constituents.”
- The South West Voice in Macarthur has asked Campbelltown Council for a comment on Mr Chanthivong’s call.