Infrastructure agreements for water supply and sewerage trunk infrastructure

Purpose

To provide advice about infrastructure agreements (IA) and the considerations, principles and process that need to be taken into account in their preparation and execution.

Background

Section 150 of the Planning Act 2016 provides the basis for IA’s.  IA’s should be prepared consistent with the infrastructure planning and charges framework under the Planning Act and the current Logan charges resolution.

Infrastructure agreements

An infrastructure agreement (IA) is a contractual agreement between a developer or land owner and the Logan City Council (Council) for:

  • the supply or funding of trunk water supply or sewerage infrastructure
  • infrastructure charges offsets and refunds towards the cost of supplying or funding trunk infrastructure.

An Infrastructure Agreement:

  • establishes the obligations and entitlements of each party
  • provides the timing of the IA, and
  • identifies the schedule of works.

IA’s can play an important role in providing certainty and clarity about the developer’s obligations for provision of trunk infrastructure or payment of infrastructure charges.

It is used to vary the conditions of development for payment of levied charges and offsetting trunk infrastructure costs against infrastructure charges. 

The IA may be negotiated at any time but is usually done before or as part of the operational works application process.

Key Principles

IA’s are voluntary for all parties involved. Key principles underpinning the preparation and negotiation include:

  • All parties negotiating in a timely manner to allow infrastructure outcomes and avoid delays to the development assessment process.
  • All parties negotiating the terms of an agreement in good faith, making sure the information and responses are provided to the other party in a timely manner.
  • An IA should be consistent with existing processes and requirements under the legislation for:
    • Levied charges – charges must not exceed the maximum adopted charge
    • Calculation of infrastructure values – based on actual costs of delivering infrastructure using the processes in the Planning Act and the current Logan Charges Resolution
    • Application of offsets across all relevant networks – offsets are able to be used against the full levied charge imposed by Council
    • Conversion rights – the ability to pursue this outcome remains available to an applicant consistent with the provisions of the Planning Act and the current Logan Charges Resolution
    • Offset and refund provisions – to be provided in a reasonable timeframe following completion of all stages of the development, having consideration of the development’s consistency with the efficient and orderly sequencing of infrastructure
    • Relevance and reasonableness to the development application
  • Achieving certainty and clarity of obligations and responsibilities for all parties involved under the agreement. This is paramount for successful negotiations and makes sure of the effective implementation and ongoing management of the document.
  • An IA should reflect the processes and content for an Infrastructure Charges Notices (ICN) and provide more detail about:
    • cost of the infrastructure
    • accumulation of credits over multiple stages
    • scope and timing of offsets or refunds
    • triggers for certain actions to be performed or material to be provided
    • procurement and reporting processes for construction of infrastructure.

Examples of water supply and sewerage IA’s

  • provision of trunk water supply or sewer mains
  • provision of land for trunk infrastructure e.g. sewer pump station
  • provision of easements for trunk infrastructure
  • undertaking planning studies
  • extending or altering the detail or terms identified in an ICN, for example:
    • altering the timing for payment of an infrastructure charge
    • altering the timing for provision of infrastructure, and
    • clarifying the obligations of all involved parties about the delivery of trunk infrastructure.

Content of an IA

An IA must include specific matters under the Planning Act (see section 150 to section 158.) These include clarifying:

  • how obligations are to be fulfilled under the agreement,
  • where issues may arise from a change of ownership of the land, and
  • how the parties will manage changes to a planning instrument that may affect development entitlements.

An IA also:

  • mirrors the intentions of the development approval conditions with the aim of further clarifying the processes and timeframes for delivering infrastructure
  • provides clear, itemised schedules of infrastructure obligations that are supported by legible plans
  • provides the specific details of the infrastructure item,
  • outlines the parties responsible for its delivery and the timeframe to be delivered
  • provides clarity around calculation, use and timing of offsets and refunds
  • binds successors in title – i.e. the obligations of the landowners under an agreement are attached to the land and are binding on the owners and owner’s successors in title
  • may include matters that are not within the jurisdiction of a public sector entity (e.g. Council) that are party to the agreement.

We use a standard template for IA’s which is available upon request.

Status of an IA

An IA is a contractual agreement between a developer or land owner and Council.

When executed an IA takes precedence over:

  • a development approval to the extent that the IA is inconsistent with a development approval
  • an infrastructure charges notice, and
  • other types of notices including:
    • a negotiated infrastructure charges notice
    • an adopted infrastructure charges notice
    • a regulated infrastructure charges notice, and
    • a negotiated regulated infrastructure charges notice.

IA's within Priority Development Areas (PDA)

IA’s within a PDA are subject to the requirements of the Economic Development Act 2012.

Any enquiries about IA’s and the provision of trunk or sub-regional infrastructure in a PDA should be directed to the Minister for Economic Development Queensland (MEDQ).

Council may be a party of an IA in a PDA subject to the approval of the MEDQ.

If a proposed IA is likely to continue to apply to land after it ceases to be in, or to be associated land for a priority development area, the MEDQ will consult with Council about the terms of the agreement.

How to apply for an IA

To apply for an IA, please download our Request for an infrastructure agreement form.

You can return your completed request:

Lodgment of signed Infrastructure Agreement

Once the IA is signed by a developer or land owner it is returned to Council for execution.

If you are returning a signed IA, please download the Returning an infrastructure agreement form (PDF 512 KB).

It is important that the authorised person(s) identified in the Infrastructure Agreement (i.e. the Proponent(s)) execute the agreement.

What is an infrastructure offset or refund?

The cost of providing trunk water supply and sewerage infrastructure by a developer may be recognised by Council. If so it is subject to an offset or refund.

The Planning Act and the current Logan Charges Resolution provide for recognition of an offset or refund for the cost of trunk infrastructure in some circumstances. An IA may also provide for the recognition of an offset or refund for trunk infrastructure.

An offset or refund for the cost of trunk infrastructure may apply through a range of circumstances including:

  • a relevant approval given by Council that includes a condition imposed under section 128 (Necessary Infrastructure Conditions) of the Planning Act and the trunk infrastructure the subject of that condition services, or is planned to service, premises other than premises that is subject of the relevant approval
  • the Council has identified the Infrastructure Contribution as trunk infrastructure intended to service the existing and future urban development at the desired standard of service up to 2026 in the Local Government Infrastructure Plan (LGIP)
  • the Infrastructure Contribution is not identified in in the LGIP however Council deems that it delivers the the same desired standard of service
  • the relevant approval or prescribed development is outside of or inconsistent with the LGIP however Council deems that the Infrastructure Contribution is trunk infrastructure.

The offset or refund will usually be recognized in the Infrastructure Charges Notice or the Amended Infrastructure Charges Notice relevant to the development.

How is the cost of infrastructure determined?

Council and the developer will agree on the value of the infrastructure contribution to allow for the IA to be signed and for an infrastructure offset or refund to be approved and included in an Infrastructure Charges Notice (ICN).

Section 116 of the Planning Act requires that a Charges Resolution must include a method for working out the cost of the infrastructure subject to the offset or refund. 

We have adopted a Charge Resolution for providing trunk infrastructure for development within the LGIP.  For more information about the current Logan charges resolution, please see Infrastructure planning and charges.

Infrastructure Agreements may occur anywhere in the our local government area including the Emerging Community Zones outside the LGIP area.  To help determine the cost of trunk infrastructure contained in IA’s please download our Guidelines for water and sewerage trunk infrastructure (PDF 213 KB).

Council and the developer will decide on the preferred method for working out the cost of trunk infrastructure, in line with the guidelines, during discussions before signing the IA.

More information

For more information about infrastructure agreements you can contact our Water Development Services team, please see contact our team.