NSW Opposition embraces population growth

01 September 2010

The NSW Leader of the Opposition, Barry O’Farrell, has defended the idea of population growth and immigration.

Mr O’Farrell told an recent public forum that the failure to match infrastructure and services to Sydney’s population lies at the feet of government.

“It’s a product of poor urban planning and lack of investment,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“Through a disastrous combination of choice and complacency, the State Labor Government refused to ensure critical transport and other infrastructure kept pace with the needs of our citizens and business.

“One former Labor Premier now seeks to claim credit for ‘predicting’ more than a decade ago the problems of Sydney’s population growth, conveniently ignoring his own responsibility for his government’s failure to match infrastructure to an expanding community.”

Mr O’Farrell said he would address infrastructure problems by:

  • ensuring NSW has a Minister responsible for both planning and infrastructure;
  • removing “the politics” from infrastructure identification and creating a new government agency “Infrastructure NSW”; and
  • establishing a capital fund (Restart NSW) to help finance projects.

“Melbourne, with a greater growth rate than Sydney, has seen more consistent investment in infrastructure to serve their growing population than this city,” Mr O’Farrell said.

The full speech by Mr O’Farrell is here.