Sydney’s peak industry bodies and NGO leaders have joined forces to promote the benefits of well-planned growth in Sydney and wider NSW.
The Property Council, the Committee for Sydney and the Sydney Business Chamber together with the Community Housing Industry Association of NSW, Homelessness NSW and Shelter NSW have formed the Good Growth Alliance.
The Alliance has written an open letter to the NSW Premier and NSW Leader of the Opposition to call for a sustainable plan for growth in Sydney, based on transparent, consistent and evidence-based decision-making by political parties, local government and urban planners
The Good Growth Alliance has ten proposals which it believes will create a better Sydney and a stronger NSW.
This includes holding a Good Growth Summit within 100 days of the 2019 NSW Election, so communities, industry and government can collaborate more strongly on making Sydney a sustainable, liveable global city by 2050.
The nine other points include:
1. Boosting housing and driving a renewed policy focus by developing an evidence-based NSW Housing Strategy and funded action plan to increase the supply of social, affordable, key worker and ‘at market’ housing including build-to-rent.
2. Taking the lead on housing issues by appointing a Minister for Housing to deliver the NSW Housing Strategy and establish a multi-sector advisory council.
3. Delivering at least 5000 additional social housing dwellings per year for the next 10 years by introducing a Capital Growth Fund to increase the supply of social and affordable housing.
4. Reducing homelessness by committing to an action plan that addresses the key causes of homelessness with the goal of ending homelessness in NSW by 2028.
5. Planning for growth and equity by ensuring new communities have the same access to public transport, employment, education and community infrastructure as established communities.
6. Supporting better innovation and design in housing by establishing a housing innovation fund and investigate regulatory barriers to delivering innovative models and design options that improve energy efficiency and reduce the cost of living.
7. Delivering a 30-minute city by identifying existing and new public transport corridors and station precincts that can accommodate the needs and aspirations of existing communities and support the development of compact residential, commercial, community, education and health hubs.
8. Inspiring community and industry confidence in the planning system by introducing enforceable key performance indicators for Development Approvals at a local and state level.
9. Conducting an inquiry into the current funding for social and economic infrastructure in growing communities, including developer contributions, with the aim of providing industry and community greater certainty and consistency.
Community Housing Industry Association NSW CEO Wendy Hayhurst said development in Sydney needed to work for everyone.
“Cities change and grow constantly and what we want to do is make sure the changes are positive – that existing residents aren’t pushed out, that new buildings add to the neighbourhood’s attractions, and that transport and community infrastructure is delivered.
“By 2020, the community housing sector in NSW will deliver 2700 homes across the state, which is almost $1 billion in investment in local communities, however, it’s not anywhere near enough if we are to make a difference to the many people throughout NSW who are paying too much of their income on housing costs,” Ms Hayhurst said.
Shelter NSW CEO Karen Walsh said the Alliance brought together the hearts and minds of those who cared about the future of Sydney and broader NSW.
“We need to ensure density means high quality, inclusive housing that is affordable for people on lower incomes. We are committed to a growing Sydney that is equitable, accessible, affordable, vibrant and inclusive.
Sydney’s growth presents an opportunity for us to create a world class city – and that’s not just by how it looks, but how it feels and how well we live in it,” she said.
Homelessness NSW CEO Katherine McKernan said: “From 2011 – 2016 homelessness in Sydney increased by 48 per cent compared to 14 per cent nationally despite significant economic growth.
"We need to ask ourselves what kind of city we want Sydney to be and make a commitment to ensure that we can provide safe, appropriate and affordable housing particularly to the most disadvantaged,” she said.
Property Council NSW Executive Director Jane Fitzgerald said: “The choice in Sydney and NSW is not between growth and no growth, the only choice we have is between good growth and bad growth; Our organisations believe in changing the public conversation about our State’s future to one about good growth that is sustainable, equitable and liveable and are calling on all political parties to adopt policy positions that ensure this happens,” she said.
Committee for Sydney Acting CEO Eamon Waterford said: “The fact that so many people want to live and work in our city reflects how great Sydney is. They are attracted by our buoyant economy, great lifestyle and great career opportunities. But growth must be planned for to ensure that our city continues to function effectively as it increases in size.
"That means ensuring that areas of growth have the right infrastructure and that growing communities are given additional investment. Growth can also help to make Sydney a fair place to live, by improving access to social and affordable housing and creating more job opportunities. Our choice is not Growth or No Growth but Bad Growth or Good Growth. We are delighted to partner with the Alliance to promote Good Growth,” he said.
Sydney Business Chamber Executive Director Patricia Forsythe said all sectors needed to work with government to ensure housing was accessible for all.
“When we think about Sydney’s future, efficient planning regulations and a diverse mix of housing is critical to the city’s success and collaboration between housing organisations, business and government is key,” Mrs Forsythe said.
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