915 pages of new red tape in the City of Sydney longer, more complex, than tax or safety laws

02 February 2011

The City of Sydney has today placed on exhibition a massive 915 pages of new planning controls as part of their supposed effort to ˜simplify the urban development process, according to the Urban Taskforce. The Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said that highly prescriptive controls will deprive Sydney of innovative solutions to the citys needs.


This level of regulation is simply overkill, Mr Gadiel said.


Theres nothing wrong with rules to protect the public interest, but 915 pages is longer than the states Occupational Health and Safety Act (92 pages), the states Food Act (104 pages) and even the Stamp Duties Act (238 pages).


In fact, you could pile those three Acts on top each other, and the City of Sydneys new controls would still be taller.


No other NSW local council even comes close to this level of regulation.


Mr Gadiel said this kind of regulation would have two effects.


Well see a more monochrome city, he said.


The look and feel of the place will display less imagination and less innovation.


But a lot of investment will also be driven elsewhere, to places where buildings arent designed by bureaucrats.


Mr Gadiel said the City of Sydney should be trying to stimulate housing, retail and commercial development.


The City of Sydney belongs to many more people than just its existing residents.


For every two local residents, five people work in the City of Sydney.


Thousands more visit it every day.


For every home that isnt built because of these new regulations, another household is forced to locate farther away from their workplace.


That means more congestion on Sydneys roads and less people using public transport.


Blocking urban development in the City of Sydney by over-regulating may win votes at council elections, but it is not in the interests of the broader Sydney metropolis.


The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australias most prominent property developers and equity financiers.


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