Politicians fight phoney war over Sydney’s ‘overdevelopment’

By Leith van Onselen

With the NSW Election to be held in a fortnight, politicians are scampering to appease the voter backlash against Sydney’s over-development, while ignoring the mass immigration that’s causing the problem.

An ‘investigation’ published yesterday by The ABC illustrates the shenanigans:

NSW Labor claims western Sydney is being “clobbered” by over-development…

Development in Australia’s most populous city is shaping as a major issue for voters ahead of the NSW election on March 23…

The ABC analysed almost 28 years of data from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE)… The figures show the majority of development is concentrated in Sydney’s west and south-west in councils like Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool, Blacktown, Parramatta and The Hills Shire…

The Greater Sydney Commission (GSC)… has set a target for eight councils in Sydney’s western city district, in the south-west and west, to build 39,850 new homes between 2016 and 2021…

According to the DPE’s internal data, between July 2015 and June of 2018 a total of 24,048 of those dwellings were completed…

In the simplest terms, there are more homes being built in western Sydney, faster than ever…

Opposition planning spokesperson Tania Mihailuk said many LGAs in Sydney’s west and south-west had “excessive housing targets” and if Labor was elected, it would make the GSC revise them.

“It’s not fair to exempt some areas from taking on their fair share while allowing other communities to be clobbered,” Ms Mihailuk said…

Ms Mihailuk said a Labor government would conduct a full audit of publicly-owned land and create an “affordable housing land register”…

NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts said comparing targets in different parts of Sydney was “meaningless”.

He said Sydney needed to provide 725,000 new homes to meet population growth in the next 20 years.

Labor is being highly hypocritical on this issue of overdevelopment. Only recently, leader Michael Daley attacked calls to lower immigration as racist and xenophobic in an exclusive interview with The Guardian:

Daley has so far resisted the urge to use migration as a campaigning tactic. While Berejiklian has called for a cut in the state’s migration intake, Daley laid the blame on poor planning and infrastructure…

“That’s what people in the suburbs know. They know Sydney’s growing. They know they’ll be asked to take on more neighbours and they’re happy to do that.

“They’ll accept the growth, if they get the schools and the gardens, the community centres and the transport that goes along with it.

“Be careful of the xenophobia, the dog whistle, I don’t ever want to see that enter the political mainstream.”

Labor cannot have its cake and eat it too. Mass immigration is behind the massive 800,000 increase in Sydney’s population over the past decade (80,000 people a year), which is the primary driver of the rampant overdevelopment afflicting the city.

Worse, the ABS’ middle (Panel B) projection has Sydney’s population growing even faster – by 94,000 people a year – for the next 48 years, with Sydney’s population to hit 9.7 million people by 2066:

This population growth will see detached housing blocks across Sydney steamrolled in favour of high-rise apartments, according to Urban Taskforce projections:

Infrastructure Australia has also told us that under every build-out scenario for Sydney, traffic congestion will deteriorate further, as will access to jobs, schools, hospitals and green space, as Sydney’s population balloons to a projected 7.4 million people by 2046 (let alone 9.7 million people by 2066, as projected by the ABS):

The fact is, it’s impossible to alleviate overdevelopment when Sydney is being fire hosed with so many additional people each year.

In turn, there’s only one ‘solution’ to Sydney’s overdevelopment: slash immigration and prevent the city’s population from ballooning.

Under current mass immigration policy settings, the quality of life that Sydneysiders have enjoyed for generations will be destroyed. And for what? To fatten the wallet of wealthy rent-seekers like Highrise Harry and Gerry Harvey?

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Unconventional Economist
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  1. I posted this a couple weeks ago. John Sidoti was previously on tv protesting about the proposed 3600 apartments at Rhodes. Developer gives him donations, and now short-priced favourite to retain his seat, and presto… 3600 plus another 600+ more apartments no problems.

    2017: https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/sydneysiders-in-revolt-over-development-as-two-thirds-declare-the-city-is-full-20171008-gywl1c.html

    Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet John Sidoti has criticised development plans in his seat of Drummoyne.

    Days after he stood alongside Mr Roberts at a media conference to launch the feedback process for a plan to add 3600 homes at Rhodes East, Mr Sidoti said he believed it should be “totally abandoned”.

    2019: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/extra-600-apartments-for-developer-whose-general-manager-donates-20190301-p5117o.html

    The state government altered plans for a proposed housing development in Sydney’s inner west in ways that would allow a property developer whose general manager has made significant political donations to build at least another 600 apartments and probably many more.

    The changes to the so-called Rhodes East planned precinct on the Parramatta River were favoured by Liberal Member for Drummoyne John Sidoti, the recipient of at least one of those donations.

  2. Hurstville, Liverpool and Parramatta are all now easily over 60% foreign born, easily, if someone talks near you or serves you in shop with an Aussie accent you look up in surprise at them

    • This is because only immigrants live in new high rise. Australian-born make up less than 20% of occupants in newly built apartments. The only reason we have high rise is to house migrants. The only suburb that bucks the ‘high density = immigrants only’ trend is Potts Point. But thats because its old, well established and well heeled.

  3. Rhodes East is on a peninsula and those extra apartments will almost certainly create a huge traffic problem on the A3.

    • Probably built on solid uncontaminated land to the highest of building standards by a reputable builder as well and will have no chance of cracking like Opal Tower.

  4. Daley’s seat is Maroubra in Sydneys eastern suburbs. If he is saying development needs to be balanced between Sydney’s west and east, why isn’t he going to the election promising more apartments and high rise in his own electorate? See how that goes down with his constituency. Dogwhistling much?

    • Not In My Back Yard !!!!
      The smugness of this bloke is off the scale. Only matched or exceeded by Chris Bowen.

    • he is up for development in maroubra – only when he was on council and they were a party donor … where is that rubber stamp …

  5. Vote 1 Sustainable Australia Party (SAP)

    Vote LAST LNP and ALP

    #DickSmith when will you run ? #DickSmithforPM