NSW should follow Victoria’s red tape review of the planning system

The re-elected NSW Government should follow the lead by Victoria in undertaking a review of its planning system to remove red tape says the Urban Taskforce.


“The build up to the recent NSW election generated a lot of negativity about new housing development which has contributed to a big drop in housing production.” says Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson. “Approvals for new apartments in NSW have dropped by 70 percent over the last year and pre sales have dropped dramatically, so it is looking like we are moving from a boom to a bust scenario. This will lead to less revenue from stamp duty for NSW Treasury and less new homes to accommodate our growing population.”


“The Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, must work closely with her Treasurer and Planning Minister to reverse the continuing fall in housing supply. New South Wales could move from being the best performing Australian state to a much lower position unless urgent action is taken.”


“The Treasurer should instruct his Chief Economist and the NSW Productivity Commissioner to quickly look at how to make the planning system more productive for the benefit of the state’s economy. They should also look at what is likely to occur in housing supply over coming years and recommend corrective actions.”


“The focus in Victoria is partly on the referral process to government agencies that can add many months to planning processes as well as looking at referral processes in local government. The NSW system is seen by development companies that operate nationally as being far worse than the Victorian system. The Urban Taskforce has for many years advocated for the adoption of the Queensland one stop shop approach through the State Assessment and Referral Authority (SARA) as a much more efficient process.”


“The new government must move quickly to ensure the slide in productivity that has occurred over the six months up to the election is arrested through strong leadership.”


“The Urban Taskforce has called for the NSW Government to hold a Housing Supply Summit soon after ministers have been announced, so that a clear picture can be had of the next few years ahead. The mood in the housing development industry is pessimistic, with some builders predicting a lean period for building construction generally over the next three years. The Urban Taskforce is keen to work closely with the new state government to try and rescue the housing supply market.”


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