Today’s shake-up of planning agencies announced by Planning Minister Kristina Keneally has been largely welcomed by the Property Council of Australia saying a proactive approach to planning was needed in tough economic times.
“Tough economic times call for new thinking,” said NSW Executive Director Ken Morrison.
“The state’s economy is lagging, our housing construction levels are at historic lows and we are in the midst of a global financial crisis. Action was needed.
“The state government’s own processes have been too slow for far too long.
“This new approach and the specific improvement targets for the assessment of projects and plans is very welcome, and will be judged on its outcomes.
“We welcome the greater focus to be given to urban renewal which is so vital to the delivery of the Metropolitan Strategy objectives.
“It will be vital that the good work of the Growth Centres Commission is not lost and that the Government retains a focus on getting construction in these areas moving.
“However the announcement does leave a couple of unknowns.
“It leaves untouched the Government’s poor record of coordinating infrastructure delivery across the state.
“The large infrastructure levies on new development remain untouched, and these are a handbrake on the supply of new housing and employment land. No other state charges such high levies.
“The governance around the delivery of the vital Barangaroo project is yet to be announced. This will clearly require a dedicated delivery vehicle to achieve, not a government department.
“The increased population forecasts released last week make it important to re-look at the Government’s planning targets to ensure these are relevant to today’s market.
Media contact: Ken Morrison, NSW Executive Director on 02 9336 6906 or 0412 233 715.