The Property Council has hailed the Prime Minister’s plan to force infrastructure and land use planning together to underpin the economic and population growth Sydney and NSW will see in the future.
NSW Executive Director Ken Morrison said today there was a clear case for the NSW Government to cooperate with the Commonwealth and apply long-term solutions to Sydney’s inevitable growth.
“Sydney desperately needs urban planning solutions that drive economic growth and end the congestion choking our city,” Mr Morrison said.
“We can’t wish away growth. We will be better served if we embrace it as an economic opportunity and begin the task of sensibly charting a sustainable future for Sydney.
“The Prime Minister has outlined a sensible framework to force land use and infrastructure planning together, and to ensure that growth is delivered in line with those plans.
“We need better coordination of land use and transport planning and importantly, the community needs to have confidence that decisions will be implemented.
“That requires proper integration of planning and transport policies, strong governance arrangements to drive their delivery, and mandated benchmarks being used to guarantee results.
“The Property Council has previously articulated a model for intergovernmental cooperation that draws on the lessons of national competition policy in successfully pursuing agreed reforms.
“It would ensure each tier of government was clear about its responsibilities and investment in transport and other infrastructure was tied to land use planning and urban development.”
Our approach has four key actions:
· Establish a strategic framework – An intergovernmental agreement under the COAG framework which sets out each government’s responsibilities for the implementation of an urban action plan for each city (eg., The Sydney Agreement).
· Set targets which are linked to plan outcomes – KPIs which summarise measurable performance targets based on agreed reform priorities.
· Provide independent review and guidance – Establish a Sustainable Communities Commission to assess and accredit governments’ plans and their progress in implementing them.
· Establish a National Sustainable Communities Fund – A suite of incentives and penalties to encourage the implementation of the agreed KPIs.
Mr Morrison added there was no need to wait for any national agreement before the NSW Government moved down the path to better planning and transport decisions.
“In the next six months, the NSW Government will release both its Transport Blueprint and the five-year review of the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy,” Mr Morrison said.
“These documents would ideally be combined to constitute a growth plan for Sydney, but at a bare minimum, need to be strictly aligned to ensure they share goals for future land use and transport planning.
“They also need to be backed by strong institutional support and legislation that plans, funds and oversights delivery capacity.”
Media contact: Ken Morrison, NSW Executive Director, 0412 233 715 or 02 9033 1907.