Another NSW Government report demands planning reform

17 September 2010

A report, released by the NSW Government today, confirms that the states planning system is in desperate need of reform, according to the Urban Taskforce. The Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said it was remarkable that the state government had released this report without articulating a new planning reform program.

The report, The NSW Economy in 2020, was prepared by Access Economics and released by the NSW Governments Industry and Investment Department today.


It says there is a need to reinvigorate microeconomic reform agendas and highlights the particular need to ensure that planning policies and regulations are able to ameliorate pressures associated with expected population growth.


The report says more reform is needed if the various pressures are to be met in an orderly manner.


It also says there must be responsive adjustments of regulation and the planning framework especially with regards to both the release of land and re-development of brownfield sites.


Mr Gadiel said this last report followed the recent public release of a study commissioned by the NSW Treasury, which also damned the NSW planning system and called for reform.


There seems to be no need to the succession of NSW Government reports demanding serious planning reform, Mr Gadiel said.


Yet no meaningful action is in the horizon and the reforms announced in June have now been reversed.


Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week confirm that, in the last financial year, NSW produced its second lowest number of new private sector homes in the Bureaus record-keeping history.


In the last 12 months, the government attempted to overcome problems in the planning system by embarking on a massive program of public housing construction and exempting itself from its own planning rules and development levies.


ABS data reveals that work started on 5,200 homes in 2009/10 thats 17 per cent of all new housing in NSW.


In Victoria theres been a greater focus on getting private housing going, which has seen an much greater rate of private housing construction, double that of NSW, with only 4 per cent of their new housing having to be funded directly by government.


We cant expect the NSW Government to address our housing shortfall by being the states largest housing developer forever.


It wont be long before the money begins run out.


Todays Access Economics report is yet another demand for a more efficient, flexible and responsive planning system, with lower development levies.


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


Direct quotes from the Access Economic Report commissioned for the NSW Government, The NSW economy in 2020: A foresighting study, August 2010 are in the PDF available from the link below.


Download PDF Document