New Sydney Metropolitan Development Authority needs more powers and a bigger canvas

23 September 2010

The Urban Taskforce said the new Sydney Metropolitan Development Authority is welcome, but its going to have to focus on a lot more than just Redfern and Granville if its going to make a difference. The Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said creating a Sydney Metropolitan Development Authority is a positive step, but more was required.


Just creating a new bureaucracy wont be enough to convince the industry that the NSW government is serious about getting Sydney moving again, Mr Gadiel said.


Were concerned that the Authority wont be taking over the approval powers of the Department of Planning, local councils or state government agencies such as the Roads and Traffic Authority, RailCorp or the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water.


The Authority should be working on a much bigger canvas, with a mandate to unblock Sydneys gridlocked planning system.


A focus on just Granville town centre, Auto Alley and Redfern wont generate the surge in new compact residential development desperately needed in Sydneys inner suburbs and nor will it lead to extra housing lots in outer suburban Sydney.


Todays announcement doesnt progress plans for Silicon Valley style development in Western Sydney.


Mr Gadiel said no Australian capital city approves less new homes per head of population than Sydney.


“In the last financial year, just 43 new homes were approved for each group of 10,000 residents in Sydney, compared with 106 homes in Perth, 103 homes in Melbourne and 77 homes in Brisbane, Mr Gadiel said.


“In raw numbers, Melbourne home approvals are soaring, while the number of homes approved in Sydney is almost the same as Brisbane and Perth, despite their smaller population bases.


“Even for apartments and townhouses an area in which Sydney used to shine Melbourne is outdoing Sydney. “In 2009/10, 15,000 higher density homes were approved in Melbourne, compared to 11,000 in Sydney.


“The number of detached houses approved in Sydney (8,000) is just a third of Melbourne’s figure, near to half of Perth’s amount and just under Brisbane’s number.


The housing undersupply is the main reason why rents in the inner suburbs of Sydney have been increasing at nine times the rate of inflation.


Rents for three bedroom homes in outer suburban Sydney have increased by 30 per cent in the last three years.


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

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