NEW South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell and Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard yesterday announced the accelerated release of land – enough for 13,000 dwellings – in two Sydney growth centres.
Mr O'Farrell said the NSW Government was taking steps to overturn the serious housing shortage created under 16 years of Labor Government and helping to make home ownership a reality for more young families.
"The NSW Government is committed to making Sydney housing affordable again and helping more families buy a home," Mr O'Farrell said.
Mr O'Farrell, marking his 100th day in government on Tuesday, said one of the government's first acts was to instruct Landcom to target the release of 10,000 housing blocks within four years.
"We are unlocking more land in the North West and South West Growth Centres - enough to build about 13,000 new homes."
At Marsden Park, in the North West Growth Centre, land for approximately 10,000 new dwellings, a town centre with 30,000 square metres of retail space and 50 hectares for public recreation will be released.
The site adjoins the Marsden Park Industrial Precinct, which is being developed to provide up to 10,000 jobs.
At Catherine Field, in the South West Growth Centre, land for approximately 3,000 new dwellings plus employment land will be released.
"Our commitment to the South West and North West Rail Links – with work also begun in our first 100 days – means potential residents of these future suburbs can buy in confidence knowing that the NSW Government will deliver the transport infrastructure denied by Labor," Mr O'Farrell said.
The land release will be accelerated under the Precinct Acceleration Protocol (PAP). The protocol allows Growth Centre precincts to be considered for rezoning earlier than scheduled, provided there is no additional cost to taxpayers and a commitment to forward delivery of infrastructure.
"The PAP allows Government to speed up the building of new homes, by using the private sector to help fund vital infrastructure," Mr Hazzard said.
The Department of Planning and Infrastructure will soon commence precinct planning in both areas to investigate land use options and infrastructure requirements. A Precinct Planning package will be placed on public exhibition for comment.
Property development industry group, Urban Taskforce, said the land releases were welcome news.
The Urban Taskforce's chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said the decision takes these areas one important step closer to subdivision.
"The challenge that the government and local council now have is to complete the precinct planning swiftly, so that an actual rezoning can occur."
Mr Gadiel said that under the former Labor Government, the precinct planning process was known to "meander for years."
"Twenty months ago, the former government 'released' five precincts in the growth centres, and yet none of them have been rezoned," Mr Gadiel said.