IN the lead up to this weekend's general election, the NSW Government has released its planning policy, promising that if re-elected, the government will maintain a 70:30 split between urban consolidation and greenfield expansion and build 90,000 new homes close to public transport links by 2016.
The government says its plans will accommodate a population of more than nine million people by 2036 with 80 per cent of new housing to be within walking distance of major centres by 2031.
"The Opposition's plan to change the urban consolidation and Greenfield expansion planning ratio to 50:50 will dump an extra 128,000 homes into south west and western Sydney – without the transport links and infrastructure necessary to support new residents," NSW Premier Kristina Keneally said.
In the election policy, the NSW ALP also commits to:
- Continuing the NSW Housing code, allowing for new homes and home extensions to be approved within 10 days in most cases;
- Maintaining a cap on infrastructure charges at both a State and local level;
- Ensuring that the supply of zoned and service lots for residential and employment always exceeds demand;
- Providing new housing close to transport and other infrastructure;
- Accelerating the assessment of renewable energy proposals in order to attract large scale renewable projects to NSW;
- Maintaining the major project assessment system; and
- Providing clear timeframes for major project assessment: 85 per cent of projects determined in three months, 95 per cent in five months, and no project to take longer than eight months.
Planning Minister Tony Kelly said the government has enough zoned greenfield land in Sydney to supply the state's needs for the next 10 years.
Mr Kelly attacked the Opposition's 50:50 plan for urban development, saying it would cause traffic congestion and compromise parts of the natural environment.
The Opposition, led by leader Barry O'Farrell, has said that NSW has become uncompetitive and unaffordable as a result of the Labor Government's planning and development policies.
In response, the Opposition has committed to a number of policies, including repealing the government's new 'Homebuyers Tax' on property purchases, accelerating land release programs and reducing infrastructure costs on new developments.
The Opposition has also committed to conducting a review of the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and abolishing the Part 3A major project assessment system.