Planning Minister should give leadership rather than blaming Developers

NSW Planning Minister, Anthony Roberts, has blamed developers for community concerns about Sydney’s booming development but it is his government that sets the targets and the locations for new housing says the Urban Taskforce.

“In a major speech on the development industry that has been promoted on the Department of Planning’s web site NSW Planning Minister, Anthony Roberts, has blamed developers for not convincing communities of where new housing should be built.” Says Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson “But it is Mr Roberts own Planning Department that sets the targets and locations for new growth and the development industry follows the government’s plans by making significant investment in new projects. In the lead up to the state election next March the government has changed many of its plans leaving housing projects in limbo land.”

“Anthony Roberts in his address said he had no sympathy for any industry trying to dodge their civic responsibility to pay for public infrastructure but these costs simply go onto the cost of a house or apartment. The government has lifted the cap on infrastructure contributions and this could add another $80,000 to the cost of a new home. To blame developers for trying to keep housing costs down for consumers is simply unfair.”

“The NSW Government seems to be on a campaign to blame developers for Sydney’s growing pains with a number of Ministers playing the blame game. Minister Matt Kean in a recent media release on the certification system blamed ‘dodgy developers’. Minister Victor Dominello, has embarked on a campaign to stop most development in his electorate of Ryde by attacking developers.  The Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has called for a halving of Sydney’s growth only six months after releasing 20 and 40 year plans for Sydney’s growth that include infrastructure and transport. Lucy Turnbull’s Greater Sydney Commission worked with the NSW Government to give a clear plan for Sydney growing to 8 million people over 40 years.””

“The development industry is keen to work with the NSW Government to promote the growth of Sydney in a sustainable manner but this means strong leadership about the benefits of a changing environment and the delivery of critical infrastructure. Politicians seem to be blaming developers for not providing the schools and hospitals that must come with population growth but the provision of these services is clearly a state government responsibility.”

“The Urban Taskforce is keen to work with all levels of government in building the future of New South Wales and of Sydney but this needs to be done without putting the blame on the development industry for planning decisions made by government.”

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