By Victoria Stone-Meadows
Shadow planning minister David Davis has lashed out at the Andrews Government for reinvesting only a pittance of Growth Area Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) funds collected in the Casey-Cardinia region.
Just over $2 million has been reinvested in the Casey-Cardinia region after a combined GAIC collection from the region raised $59.3 million at the end of 30 June 2016, according to the 2016 DELWP report.
Mr Davis has accused the premier of hoarding the money and not providing investment returns to communities in Casey and Cardinia.
“There is money available to relieve pressure on suburban families, but Daniel Andrews is refusing to help,” he said.
“Under Daniel Andrews there are always winners and losers, and today the losers are everyday Victorians.”
The 2016 annual report from the Department on Environment, Land, Water and Planning shows that only 3.4 per cent of the money collected has been spent in the Casey-Cardinia growth area.
Money is raised through the GAIC when land in designated growth areas is bought, subdivided or a permit for building on large blocks of land is applied for.
The GAIC money is then set aside for community and public transport infrastructure projects in the growth areas it was collected from.
However, DELWP has confirmed in the 2016-’17 financial year, the infrastructure spending of GAIC collections will ramp up.
“So far this financial year, the Victorian Government has announced $19.2 million worth of projects from GAIC to build infrastructure where it is most needed, including $8.5 million to purchase land for six new ambulance stations,” a DELWP spokesperson said.
The method that GAIC funds are administered has also been reformed this financial year to ensure a more collaborative approach to funding allocation.
“The new process ensures that important state infrastructure is provided to growth areas, in time to meet community needs.”
“Applications for funding in the 2017-’18 financial year have been sought from portfolio ministers and are now under consideration.”
“The government expects expenditures to catch up to revenue in the coming rounds and for the fund to deliver on its original intention over 20 years.”