ONLY five sites with a lettable area more than 20,000 square metres are available across all of Sydney's industrial markets, pushing multinational companies to take jobs to Melbourne and Brisbane, according to a new report released by the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA).
The report, titled 'Building Jobs for NSW – The missing piece in NSW's affordability puzzle', also finds that a shortage of zoned and serviced employment land coupled with increasing demand has significantly increased land values, with industrial rents in NSW now double of those in Victoria.
"Responsibly managing the growth of NSW is not just about addressing the housing affordability crisis. Equally as important are jobs, which support family home ownership," said UDIA CEO, Steve Mann.
"It is a key objective of the Greater Sydney Commission in their long term strategic planning for Sydney, that jobs be located closer to where people live.
"The daily one hour plus commute from Western Sydney to the East cannot continue if we are serious about achieving a more liveable, affordable and connected city.
"The multinational online retailer, Amazon, has already fallen victim to a lack of available land in Sydney, with the company having instead chosen Melbourne as the site of its 24,000m2 Australian distribution facility after spending 12 months searching for a site," Mr Mann said.
The report identifies the critical undersupply has been caused by rezoning delays, fragmented land ownership and lack of infrastructure provision.
"Industrial demand is continuing to be driven by online shopping and population growth. Sydney is failing to address that demand, causing businesses to instead choose Melbourne and Brisbane," Mr Mann said.
"The NSW Government urgently needs to develop and introduce a policy that will allow industry to grow, particularly in Western Sydney where there is still a significant amount of undeveloped land which could be unlocked with a coordinated approach towards building infrastructure."
The report calls for the establishment of a Western Sydney Delivery Authority to lead the growth and prosperity of the region.
"The NSW Government should investigate programs that encourage employment-generating development in Sydney, increasing its competitiveness with Melbourne and Brisbane, as well as improving the jobs imbalance in Western Sydney," Mr Mann said.
The report also calls for a new Land Release Program to be established to provide clarity, transparency and investment certainty for industry and delivery agencies.
"Currently, there is no system in place where a shortfall of employment land can be properly identified and delivered.
"Western Sydney has taken the lion's share of residential growth. There is a critical need to create jobs near where people live."