WAGGA councillors have knocked back a developer's request to defer payment of $5.4 million in infrastructure contributions.
During Monday night's meeting, councillors were asked to grant the Combined Development Group with an unconditional bank guarantee for the multimillion-dollar bill.
This means the developer of the proposed 214-lot subdivision at 86 Harris Road could pay off the debt after 12 months following the receipt of the unconditional bank guarantee for each stage.
However, Councillor Paul Funnell said the council had no business playing bank, and by deferring payment for one developer they risked setting a precedent for all.
"We are asking to defer millions in contributions that ... allow the development of critical infrastructure [such as] Pine Gully Road, Old Narrandera Road, Boorooma Street, the famous Farrer Road," he said.
In other news:
"We are so far behind in our capital works, so if we get this funding - like we are supposed to - heaven forbid we'll have enough in this bottomless pit to bring forward capital works and accelerate this process."
Cr Rod Kendall said the council risked losing money if they make development in the city harder.
"This city going forward and with all the exciting news we're getting that development is going to continue at a pretty fast rate and that development has to be affordable to the mums and dads who are going to buy those blocks of lands," he said.
"The less cost we impart on the developer upfront, the better they can market those blocks at an affordable rate."
Cr Tim Koschel said he could not make a decision on millions of dollars without seeing the Combined Development Group's financials, which it refused to provide at the council's request.
"If I walked into a bank asking for a bank guarantee with no financials I would get no support at all. I don't see how I can make a decision without seeing the financials," he said.
Cr Dallas Tout said while it sets a precedent for other developers in the future, the council could still make its decisions on a case-by-case basis. He said this request encouraged faster growth for the city in the short-term.
Cr Vanessa Keenan said her decisions are usually guided by facts, guidelines and policy, but this request did not "feel right in the gut".
With other opportunities available to the developer, she said the community is not expecting the council to approve this request.
"By council not supporting this, it doesn't mean the developer can't meet their obligations," she said.
Crs Yvonne Braid, Dan Hayes, Funnell, Koschel, Keenan voted against the request whereas crs Greg Conkey, Tout and Kendall supported the deferral of fees. Cr Kerry Pascoe declared a conflict of interest.