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Western Sydney City Deal to offer councils incentives for achieving housing supply targets

THE Federal Government, New South Wales Government and eight local councils will be working together through the proposed Western Sydney City Deal to reform planning laws to speed up supply of housing.

Treasurer Scott Morrison and Assistant Cities Minister Angus Taylor last week visited Macarthur Railway Station in southwest Sydney to see first-hand the opportunities for housing near train stations and transit hubs.

Mr Morrison said a dedicated Western Sydney Housing Package would help deliver housing supply, with local governments to develop strategies showing how they will reach agreed housing supply targets. Incentive payments will be tied to the delivery of these local planning reforms under the Western Sydney City Deal.

Housing under construction in Western Sydney
Above: Housing under construction in Western Sydney / Greater Sydney Commission.

Over the next 20 years, about 185,000 homes will be needed in the west and southwest districts of Sydney to keep up with the growing population and take pressure of house prices.

The government has committed up to $5.3 billion to build the first stage of Western Sydney Airport, which it says presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for jobs and long-term growth in Western Sydney.

Assistant Minister Taylor said housing in the right locations was critical to supporting an emerging Western City CBD.

"It is well known that homes next to transit hubs, with easy access to public transport, are desirable assets, particularly for the young and the elderly. The Western Sydney City Deal will drive housing development and industry in the region surrounding the new Western Sydney Airport, to stimulate creation of jobs close to homes and improve transport options," Mr Taylor said.

Details of the Western Sydney Housing Package will be announced when the City Deal is finalised towards the end of 2017.

In addition, the government will establish a $1 billion National Housing Infrastructure Facility to put downward pressure on rising house prices.

The Facility will provide $1 billion over five years to support local governments to finance critical infrastructure needed to speed up the supply of new housing such as transport links, power and water infrastructure and site remediation works.

The Facility will help councils to access concessional loans, equity investments and grants.

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