Supporting industry, the economy and communities during  COVID-19 and beyond

As the uncertainty of the pandemic arose, we took proactive steps to support the development industry through keeping applications and projects moving. These steps included:

  • offering a 50 percent fee reduction on Extension of Currency requests for Water Approvals (no longer available)
  • providing bonding of works to facilitate early plan sealing in accordance with existing provisions
  • supporting new water and wastewater demands resulting from State Government COVID-19 temporary use licences
  • ensuring continuity of service to industry
  • investing in catalyst infrastructure
  • considering payment plans for select circumstances
  • undertaking Decision Notice/application condition reviews.

Infrastructure charges build a network we can all rely on

Infrastructure charges play a vital role in benefitting the development industry and the community. They can only be used to:

  • fund trunk infrastructure for new development, such as large water mains, treatment plant upgrades and pumping stations
  • reimburse (offset) trunk infrastructure delivered by developers
  • deliver essential infrastructure for water and wastewater services to safety standards
  • ensure catalyst infrastructure projects that generate consultant, contractor and construction jobs.

No profit is earned from collection of infrastructure charges.  These charges do not fund general maintenance and cannot be used for anything but trunk infrastructure. Infrastructure charges are also capped by State Government legislation so do not reflect the true cost of infrastructure delivery.

Why it is important to maintain infrastructure charges? 

Without infrastructure charges there may be diminished investment in essential infrastructure, increased development sector job losses, and a reduced capacity to fund reimbursement of developer delivered trunk infrastructure.

Reducing or waiving infrastructure charges also means an increased risk of development slowing or ceasing which could compromise a development sector that has continued as an essential service during COVID-19 phased lockdowns.

Where can I find general information about infrastructure charges?

Explore the drop down menus below to find out more about infrastructure charges and agreements.

What is Urban Utilities COVID-19 business response?

Click here to learn about our COVID-19 business response, including details about the security of drinking and wastewater services.

 

Learn more about infrastructure charges

Infrastructure charges are legislated charges payable where new development is proposed.  The charges are applied so we can fund the cost of providing new or upgraded trunk infrastructure.

The legislation that covers infrastructure charges includes the SEQ Water (Distribution and Retail Restructuring) Act 2009, the Planning Act 2016 and related Planning Regulation 2017.

An assessment of whether infrastructure charges are payable is undertaken as part of the assessment of all development applications that require water or sewer services.

Infrastructure charges are not applied to developments carried out by other government authorities such as Economic Development Queensland priority development areas, Brisbane Airport Corporation, South Bank Corporation, Port of Brisbane Corporation and declared mining areas.

The Queensland Urban Utilities Infrastructure Charges Schedule (ICS) is part of the Water Netserv Plan (Part A). The ICS explains the charge calculation method and has the charge rates for each council area.

Simplistically, infrastructure charges are calculated by reducing the assessed ‘additional’ demand generated by the new development, by the demand ‘credit’. A demand credit is existing demand on the site, for example, the demand created by an existing dwelling that is connected.

The Water Netserv Plan – Charges Schedule will recognise a credit of one three bedroom dwelling on all lots in an existing serviced area when a Water Approval application has been lodged and infrastructure charges are applicable.

An Infrastructure Charge Notice (ICN) is issued to the customer outlining the charges levied against the new connection.

Where previous headworks charges have been paid to form the lot, we will recognise the money paid as a prescribed financial contribution (PFC), subject to adequate documentary evidence payment was made to council and has not since been refunded.

The Infrastructure Charge Notice (ICN) is issued within 10 business days of granting the connection approval and issuing the approval Decision Notice.

For a detailed charge assessment, you can lodge a Services Advice Notice.

In most cases the levied infrastructure charges must be paid prior to us issuing the Connection Certificate.

The legislation also permits that, where a Water Approval is associated with a reconfiguration of a lot development approval, the Infrastructure Charge Notice (ICN) may be paid at plan sealing.

A customer should not make a payment on an Infrastructure Charge Notice (ICN), but should contact ICNEnquiries@urbanutilities.com.au to request a charges notice (sometimes referred to as an itemised breakdown).

Queensland Urban Utilities must identify the value of trunk infrastructure conditioned to be provided by the applicant in the Infrastructure Charge Notice (ICN). This is called an offset, where the value of the infrastructure is lower than the charges. Where the value of the infrastructure is higher than the charge, a refund provision is calculated. This replaces the need to enter into a Water Infrastructure Agreement for the identified works, providing certainty to the developer that they will be eligible for work contribution credits and refunds.

By law, Queensland Urban Utilities must keep available for inspection a copy of the Infrastructure Charges register. Contact ICNEnquiries@urbanutilities.com.au to arrange access.

Since 4 July 2014, we calculate Infrastructure Charge Notices (ICNs) for transitional applications instead of councils. The council sends us the decision package on the same day as they send it to the applicant. We then undertake the calculation and issue the Infrastructure Charge Notice (ICN).

We also do this for transitional permissible changes issued by councils.

Applicants who have received an older transitional Adopted Infrastructure Charge Notice (AICN) from council should continue to make their payment to that relevant council.

Learn more about infrastructure agreements

A water infrastructure agreement is a contractual agreement between Queensland Urban Utilities and another party, generally a developer. The agreement is usually about payment for or a reimbursement of the cost of trunk water and/or sewerage infrastructure.

It is used to vary conditions of development regarding payment of levied charges and offsetting trunk infrastructure against infrastructure charges when the issuing of an ICN with an offset for trunk works does not cover the situation. The agreement may be negotiated as part of the connection application process (Water Approval Process) or separately after.

To apply for an infrastructure agreement you must write to Queensland Urban Utilities and request preparation of a water infrastructure agreement.

To make enquiries about this process, email ICNEnquiries@urbanutilities.com.au

Infrastructure Charges Notice (ICN): Issued to the developer outlining the infrastructure charges levied against the new connection.

Water Approval: Authority given to a developer to make a connection, disconnection or alteration to our water or sewerage networks.

Property service connection: Connections to a single property from our water or sewerage reticulation infrastructure.

Network connection: Connection of new reticulation infrastructure to our existing water or sewerage networks.