Sydney’s wealthy elite are migrant NIMBYs

As we already know, Sydney is Australia’s primary entrant point for migrants:

And Western Sydney is the prime dumping ground for these migrants:

With Western Sydney also projected to receive the lion’s share future immigration-driven population growth – i.e. an additional 1.2 million people over the next 20 years, according to the Greater Sydney Commission:

Future Sydney residents are also projected to be squeezed into high-rise dog box apartments, according to projections from the Urban Development Institute of Australia:

Last month, the head of the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC), Lucy Turnbull, outlined an “exciting” future for Western Sydney, which involves being crush-loaded with another 1.2 million people:

GSC’s chief commissioner Lucy Turnbull… said places such as Parramatta and Bankstown represented the “future of Sydney and Australia” with a youthful and diverse population making them “exciting” corners of the wider city…. “1.2 million people in western Sydney in the next 20 years is a reasonable forecast”…

And this proclamation by Lucy Turnbull came despite new figures showing that Western Sydney is already suffering from severe disadvantage:

Western Sydney can seem a world away from the wealthier, eastern side of the city… “As much as we are strong advocates of western Sydney, we need to be realistic that too many times we are on the wrong side of that line. In terms of per capita lower incomes, below average NAPLAN results and school attendance, higher unemployment and higher rates of preventable disease and hospital admissions” [Christopher Brown, Chairman of the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue, said].

“Western Sydney is the diabetes capital of the country,” he said. “There are also higher rates of domestic violence which is the shameful secret of western Sydney”.

But while Western Sydney is being crush-loaded by migrants, the wealthy elites in the city’s East have put up walls to keep the migrant riff-raff out:

The beautiful suburb that provides homes for many of the men and women who run the Australian economy is fighting for over-priced cherries, tomatoes and avocados…

Now Tony Abbott has been dispatched from public life, the Mosman peninsula on Sydney’s lower north shore has shifted focus. Not to the problems of low wages growth, housing affordability or Indigenous recognition. But the horror of a Woolworths…

With the aid of a professional public relations firm, a local pressure group, Mosman Village Community, is leading a fight against a Woolworths outlet, which it argues will increase traffic and drive artisan shops broke. About 1500 residents have signed up for the campaign…

“This is one of the few remaining village-type high streets in Sydney,” says Colin Gunn, a spokesman for the group. “A major shopping centre would change the nature of the village.”

Underlying the opposition is a form of retail snobbery and resentment towards outsiders…

At the same time, the council is seeking community input on its long-term plan for the suburb, which keeps its population low and prices high by limiting housing growth.

As shown in the chart above, Mosman’s projected population growth is the second lowest in Sydney behind Lucy Turnbull’s wealthy enclave of Woollahra.

So basically, the GSC is running a form of economic apartheid whereby Western Sydney shoulders the lion’s share of immigration and population growth to provide cheap foreign labour and inflated demand to the wealthy barons in the East.

This model enables the Elites in the East to profit from the rentier services of over-priced ghetto apartments and postage stamp houses, inflated land banks, as well as higher volumes of mortgages and retail sales, while not having to share in the downsides of congestion and eroded amenity.

Leith van Onselen


  1. They’re not going to change their tune until someone buys a point piper mansion and submits a permit for a 70 story affordable housing tower.

    Only then will they be exposed – by their own words on whatever camera faces their direction.

    • Strange EconomicsMEMBER

      Point Piper and Toorak would be perfect for 50 high rise towers, with 20% reserved for low income affordable housing.
      Good transport, weather, etc.
      Just turn the private schools into state highs..
      Why is it only high rise west from a line 8 km out..?

      And today they announced rents are 10 % down from the areas with Highrise. Gotta be good for all..

    • Thinking about it…

      MB might have the capital to do it – with member’s consent.
      10-20% down on a PP mansion is what… 400k-800k?
      Submitting plans will be less than the 2 year cost of the mortgage.

      But the media exposure…

      And then, in all probability, you’ll be able to get one of the snot-nosed locals to buy it for a profit.

      Here’s one ripe for the picking. Only 4m! Bet you can get 6 in a year to shut you up.

      • Why not crowd fund it! Create the Piss Elitist Nimby A55holes Right Off (PENARO) fund that buys Mosman/Pt Piper/Woollahra type property and then does just this. $10m target per project, $6m for the property and $4m for the legal stoush/council corruption charge.

  2. SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

    New Sydney’s Queen Lucy Turdball shall be obeyed. All the New Australians in New Sydney adore her. From the so called 1st world anglo western ashes of Sydney we have built New Sydney with New People living in New Buildings with what we like to call a New Standard of Living….

  3. The mainstream media, both ‘left’ and ‘right’ is generally agreed that Lady Lucy AO is above criticism, and anything which goes beyond the mildest slap with a wet lettuce is quickly shut down.

    Instead of laughing her elitist, gimcrack, Sydney ‘plan’ to scorn, urban and transport ‘planners’ reverence it. They all begin with ‘Sydney is expected grow to 8m’. When they should be saying, ‘Clearly, 8m is not sustainable, and will make Sydney a divided wasteland. Our first recommendation is an immediate halving of immigration, otherwise our job becomes impossible’.

    • The start has to be forcing politicians to have a population plan, that links resources (water etc), amenity (environment, parks, gardens, sports fields) and infrastructure (roads, schools, hospitals) with population growth. At the moment all these limitations on growth are dismissed to the realm of fantasy future policy.

      • Bit late for all that…the horse has well and truly bolted. Wishful thinking that something like meaningful planning will happen. They are still obsessed with pumping up the dying property bubble. We need an economic enema to flush all the bad investments.

  4. Why do Sydneysiders keep voting for the destruction of their once beautiful city – it’s horrific to watch, like the decline and self destruction of an addict.

    • +1 the place has turned into a dumpster fire in the 5-6 years since I moved here. Now we could say I’m the problem. I’ll respect that, but rather I think it’s Sydney that’s a way I can’t wait to move back to Melbourne. But it’s only a few years behind the Sydney madness really. So I’m sure I’ll be moving to Adelaide not long after that…

      • Just buy a place in Adelaide, and with the money saved, you can fly your missus to her Mum’s on a regular basis. It’s a short flight.

      • Tried to convince her of that, she may consider Tasmania but I doubt she will handle the cold for long.

  5. Agree with the sentiment here. but the East of Sydney is not totally immune to the over-development frenzy either – any number of 3-4 level apartment blocks/townhouses going up on the old quarter acre blocks around me.. (Bronte/QueensPark/Randwick). Plus the ubiqutious ‘sub-divide’ strategy… Not to mention my kids school has doubled in population size in less than 5 years – meaning smaller playing fields, staged lunch hours etc etc..
    Public transport is being crushed as well.. 5 years ago, I’d get a seat on the bus every day, and that’s no longer the case.. and the light rail shambles wont solve that…
    First world problems and all that, and I know we don’t have the problems of ‘out west’ – but same underlying trend..

  6. Jumping jack flash

    Meh rich people doing rich people things.
    Of course they want to keep the poor people out. They paid the premium for that.

  7. The last time I checked the ALP still supported a big Australia so it is a bipartisan policy to rapidly grow the population that doesn’t seem to be supported by the majority of the population irrespective of what area they live in. Not sure that it has much to do with rich or poor people, with the possible exception of Business Council types who always think they’ll benefit from strong population growth. A serious article, unlike the one in the AFR that seems to have been written by a Woolworths PR flak and is a waste of time, would be good. If the Woolworths fan boy had done any research he would know that most people in Mosman already shop at one of the two Woolworths in nearby Neutral Bay. Three IGAs in Mosman, Spit Junction and Cremorne, as well as an Aldi in Spit Junction are other alternatives so not obvious why another Woolworths is needed. Hopefully, some serious journalist will shed more light on why our politicians insist on rapid population growth that impacts everyone (including those driving down New South Head Road or Military Road).