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2018-10-25 

Report on Land Release and Housing Supply welcomed 

UDIA NSW chief executive, Steve Mann, who gave evidence for the inquiry, said “we are pleased to have been involved with the process of the Inquiry.

 

“This report highlights key challenges in the planning system which we look forward to resolving in collaboration with the Government and community.”

 

IMPROVING THEPLANNING SYSTEM

 

Some key recommendations on reforming the planning system are:

Recommendation 1

The Committee recommends that the New South Wales Government establishes a consultative process to identify and agree that there are opportunities to simplify and improve the New South Wales planning system, and a timetable to implement them.

 

Recommendation 3

The Committee recommends that the NSW Government implements a coordinated and transparent referral scheme for concurrent approvals by NSW Government agencies.

 

Recommendation 4

The Committee recommends that the New South Wales Government document and publish the process of interagency collaboration, which underpins the New South Wales planning system, and report publicly the activities and outcomes of the collaboration.

 

Finding 6

The Committee finds that referrals to government agencies are uncoordinated and cause delay.

 

Mr Mann said the report is an important milestone in addressing the housing affordability crisis in Greater Sydney.

 

“We’re keen to work with the State Government and local councils to find ways to improve the planning system in NSW.

 

“UDIA NSW recommended the creation of an ‘Urban Development Program’ which would align the growth projections made by the State Government, local councils, utilities and industry.

 

“We are currently working with Blacktown City Council on a pilot of the Urban Development Program, which will provide a ground-up program for housing supply and the required enabling infrastructure.

 

Last month UDIA NSW launched its’ Building Blocks 2.0 report which shows the opportunity to focus on delivering key trunk infrastructure which can enable 81,000 lots to be delivered in Western Sydney within three years at an investment of under $3,000 a lot.

 

“By creating a fairer, more efficient planning system, we can unlock more housing which will provide more certainty to dwelling prices. It is an important step towards housing the next generation.

 

At the UDIA NSW annual conference last week, both the Minister for Planning and Shadow Minster for Planning expressed their enthusiasm for working with industry to improve the planning system in NSW.

 

 

INFRASTRUCTURE COSTS

 

The inquiry also noted infrastructure funding as an area requiring reform. Infrastructure costs are a key reason taxes on new homes in Western Sydney are currently at 25 percent, and possibly rising to 35 percent by July 2020.

 

The Inquiry acknowledged the impact of infrastructure costs on housing affordability and made the following recommendations:

 

Recommendation 6

The Committee recommends that the New South Wales Government ensure infrastructure funding mechanisms are simple and made transparent by:

  • undertaking an audit of current infrastructure funding arrangements and funds available, publishing the results, and ensuring ongoing transparency; and
  • consulting with local government, professional planners and the development industry on the most effective ways to simplify the current arrangements.

 

Recommendation 7

The Committee recommends that the New South Wales Government instruct the New South Wales Productivity Commissioner to investigate alternative infrastructure funding models, and value capture and sharing regimes as a matter of urgency.

 

Finding 3

The Committee finds that the complexity of the New South Wales planning system impacts on land release, housing supply and infrastructure planning.

 

Finding 9

The Committee finds that infrastructure funding and delivery is costly, complex and opaque, and causes delay.

 

Mr Mann said “Our infrastructure funding system has been broken for decades, adding costs and leaving new home buyers without the infrastructure that had been promised and paid for. 

 

“We welcome the Productivity Commissioner’s review into infrastructure funding.

 

“This year UDIA NSW has brought together industry leaders to work to develop a better way forward for infrastructure funding and will share their recommendations with the Minister. 

 

“We look forward to working with the Productivity Commissioner and Planning Minister to improve the transparency and fairness of infrastructure funding in NSW.