New planning minister welcomed

03 April 2011

The appointment of Brad Hazzard as NSW’s new Planning Minister has been welcomed by the Urban Taskforce. The Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said Mr Hazzard had spent four years talking the industry and the wider community about planning issues.


We welcome the continuity that Mr Hazzards transition from shadow minister to minister will bring, Mr Gadiel said.


Mr Hazzards appointment ensures the government is able to fully act on the extensive consultation he carried out on behalf of the Liberal and National parties. Mr Gadiel said the new government has huge challenges before it.


NSW was number one for building activity until 2007, but we lost that title to Victoria and we have never regained it, he said.


The value of Victorian building activity is 12 per cent higher than in NSW.


Per head of population, investment in Victorian building is running at one-and-half times that of NSW. No state in Australia produces less new homes per person than NSW.


Last year NSW produced only two-thirds of the new homes it produced in 2002, while Western Australia produced 28 per cent more homes than in 2002, Victoria produced 21 per cent more homes and South Australia produced 16 per cent more homes.


Even Tasmania has improved its level of new home construction from 2002 levels – to the tune of 51 per cent.


Mr Gadiel said that renters had been hit hard by the housing undersupply.


In the last four years, median rents for three bedroom houses in outer suburban Sydney have soared by 44 per cent thats an average annual increase of 9.5 per cent, he said.


In the last four years, rents for two bedroom apartments in the inner suburbs have swollen by 41 per cent an average of 9 per cent a year.


Mr Gadiel said that NSWs development levies on new homes were the highest in the country and the planning system was the nations most chaotic.


The states planning system is in disarray and in urgent need of a major overhaul, he said.


Mr Gadiel said the urban development industry respected the new governments clear mandate to repeal Part 3A of the planning law.


The repeal of Part 3A will mean that comprehensive reform of the planning system is unavoidable, he said.


This means less red tape, stronger efforts to boost the supply of new homes and more public investment in urban infrastructure.


Mr Gadiel said the industry was pleased that the new government would now be planning for the long-term.


Well work with the new government on the implementation of their policies.


Our industry just as much as the wider community wants NSW to be number one again.


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


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