New Ministry for Infrastructure and Planning welcomed

16 November 2009

The NSW governments decision to merge the ministries of planning and infrastructure could improve government decision-making, according to the Urban Taskforce.

The Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said combining the two ministries was a good idea if more decisions are made to fast-track development around high-quality infrastructure.


There would be a more efficient use of Sydneys existing public transport and road infrastructure if the NSW Governments 2005 Metropolitan Strategy had actually been implemented, Mr Gadiel said.


That strategy envisaged higher density residential, retail and commercial development around transport hubs and major road corridors.


We havent seen the rezonings and development approvals necessary to deliver this vision.


Mr Gadiel said that compact, mixed-use development will be critical to the success of any new transport project.


Independent research consistently shows that urban density has a significant impact on the use of public transport, he said.


Every 10-percent increase in population density has been associated with a 6-percent increase in public transport patronage.


New flexible zoning plans around train stations and major bus routes are essential if high levels of patronage are to be achieved.


The low patronage levels of the Liverpool-to-Parramatta Transit Way illustrate what happens when urban planning is not adjusted in-line with infrastructure investment.


We hope that Ms Keneally, as the Minister for both Planning and Infrastructure, will be able to take firm action to change land use controls and provide opportunities for the more efficient use of Sydneys transport infrastructure.”


The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australias most prominent property developers and equity financiers. The construction activity made possible by property developers contributes $78 billion to the national economy each year and creates 849,000 direct jobs.



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