Opposition seeks missing details about Labor’s housing reforms

Liberal NSW

The NSW Opposition has sought missing details from the Minns Labor Government about their signature housing policy – the Transport Oriented Development Program (TOD), amid widespread criticism from numerous Labor Mayors across Sydney.

Reports today have revealed that the Department of Planning expects only 10% of houses under this plan to be built in the next five years.

Shadow Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Scott Farlow, has used Parliament to compel the Minns Government to release all documentation outlining the selection of the eight TOD accelerated precincts and the 31 TOD precincts, including analysis of the enabling infrastructure capacity of all 305 stations across the Six Cities Region.

“A massive uplift in housing supply in NSW must be a top priority. The Opposition support measures, including increasing density along transport corridors, to meet ambitious housing targets, but they must be done right and in consultation with local communities,” said Mr Farlow.

“The Opposition has sought detail from the Minns Government today to understand the capacity of local infrastructure in areas around transit stations selected for the TOD program, and the criteria used to select individual stations.”

“New housing must be supported by infrastructure upgrades to build functional, liveable communities. Communities across NSW are concerned about the capacity of local schools and hospitals, congested roads and full public transport during peak hour.”

“The Minns Government cannot have a housing plan without a plan for upgraded infrastructure in all TOD areas. All Labor has to offer are lazy one-size-fits-all policies impacting areas from Medowie to Mollybrook and Bondi to the Blue Mountains.”

“The only information that the Minns Government has provided the public is a 12 page glossy document for one of the largest reforms to the planning system in years. These reforms are due to come into place on 1 April with no opportunity for proper community consultation.”

“Councils from across Sydney have been frustrated by a lack of detail, which has led to fanciful one month turnaround times over Christmas for desperately needed feedback. Mayors are making clear that having all the required rezonings gazetted by 1 April is unrealistic and cannot happen. Labor Mayors have been the first to speak out against the Chris Minns and his Planning Minister.”

“Amid complaints about a lack of detail on Government policies and inability to the Department of Planning to answer basic questions, I have written to all Mayors and General Managers in LGAs impacted by the Transport Oriented Development Program, and all Councils concerning the low and mid-rise housing reforms asking about questions and issues faced by Councils to put to the Planning Minister at the upcoming Budget Estimates. Consultation is how NSW will build more homes and alleviate the housing crisis.”

The Opposition believes in working with local communities to set housing targets, allowing communities to formulate their local controls and if they refuse to do so that’s the appropriate time to impose local planning controls – not at the beginning.

“Every community has different impacts from these policies which is why local communities should be involved in formulating the policy for their areas. A lack of consultation will end in homes simply not being built and the housing crisis getting worse. That cannot be allowed to occur.”

/Public Release. View in full here.