New planning minister needs to take NSW back to the ˜90s

08 December 2009

The challenge for Tony Kelly, the states new Planning Minister, will be to get NSWs urban development back to 1990s levels, according to the Urban Taskforce.

The Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said that the per-capita rate of new home construction in NSW has fallen by more than half over the last nine years.


Mr Kelly is well qualified for the job of Planning Minister, Mr Gadiel said.


Hes had a 30 year career with Wellington Council – which he joined in 1967 and rose up through the ranks to be general manager, he said.


Between 2003 and 2005 Mr Kelly served as a Minister for Local Government.


Mr Kelly will have his work cut out for him.


NSW is cursed with the lowest per-capita rate of new home construction anywhere in Australia.


The rate of homes construction has been in freefall since the year 2000.


No other state or territory builds less new homes, relative to population.


The challenge Mr Kelly faces is securing community support for a resumption of development activity and making the tough decisions to make this happen.


Mr Kelly may need to override councils to ensure there are opportunities for new compact pedestrian-friendly residential communities, in the inner suburbs.


Mr Kelly will also need to reform infrastructure levies and bang heads together to get land released and developed in the outer suburbs.


State government policies will need to be reformed to allow new retail precincts and provide competition to the dominant shopping centre landlords.


Policies will need to be changed so that there can be new business parks and industrial estates where theyre needed most.


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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