The Urban Taskforce today welcomed the Treasurer’s optimistic drive for the NSW economy, but called on all NSW government ministers to get behind the economic plan, NSW 2040 Economic Blueprint.
“This report is an important document which establishes an optimistic plan for the growth of the NSW economy. The pipeline of infrastructure expenditure is impressive, but a similar focus must be applied to the delivery of new housing”, Urban Taskforce CEO Tom Forrest said today.
“The Treasurer has responded to a concerning drop-off in housing approvals and criticism of the NSW planning system and Council bottlenecks from the NSW Productivity Commission. The Productivity Commission is the only body looking closely at the economic consequences of continuous strategic planning navel gazing. That is because the Treasurer has seen stamp duty revenue tank and wants something done about it.
“Part of building success for future generations is ensuring ample opportunity exists for a full range of housing stock in all areas of Sydney and NSW, particularly in areas where the market has spoken and people have clearly shown they want to live.
“New transport infrastructure is essential and the Berejiklian Government has done very well in this area. The key now is to ensure that these new transport corridors are fully utilised with high density residential and commercial development.
“Apartment living delivers an affordable choice for new home buyers. When this is located near new metro rail line infrastructure, this reduces the numbers of cars on the roads and improved amenity for residents. At the same time, a constant focus must go onto the performance of every Council. The time taken to process DAs and the supply of new land for residential development is critical to keeping housing affordability in check.
“The growth of the economy in NSW depends on ongoing growth in the population.
“We need immigration to ensure we have a productive income earning population capable of generating tax revenue to pay for the aging of the baby-boomer generation.
“The Federal Treasurer is keen to point out that as more Australians live longer, the number of working age Australians for every person aged over sixty-five diminishes.
“In 1974-75 the ratio was 7.4 to 1
“In 2014-15, it was 4.5 to 1
“Current Commonwealth forecasts predict that over the next four decades this ratio will fall to just 2.7 to 1.
“The numbers drive the case for population growth and immigration.
“The challenge for the NSW Government is keeping up with the demand for new housing while improving amenity, liveability and affordability. To achieve this, both Councils and the planning system must be driven to deliver on housing targets every year – not just some years.
“The NSW Treasurer is on the case along with NSW Treasury’s Chief Economist Stephen Walters and the Productivity Commissioner, Peter Achterstraat. They should be applauded.”
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