Sydney’s official population projection upgraded

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment has updated its population projections for Sydney, with the city’s population revised upwards by 240,000:

As shown above, Sydney’s population is projected to increase by 2 million people in the 22 years to 2041 – equivalent to adding a Perth or around five Canberra’s.

Planning Minister, Rob Stokes, was quick to downplay concerns:

Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said there was no cause for panic with the State government’s infrastructure program able to accommodate the growing population.

“These new projections show the diverse regions of NSW remain among the most desirable places to live in Australia,” he said.

“We have the biggest infrastructure program in the nation to ensure we have the homes, hospitals, schools, roads and other infrastructure and services that our future generations will need.

This is complete BS of course, with Infrastructure Australia’s projections showing that all measures of liveability – traffic congestion, commute times, access to jobs, schools, hospitals and open space – will worsen as Sydney’s population explodes, irrespectively of how it builds out:

Sydneysiders will also be shoehorned into high-rise apartments:

And there will obviously be more acute water shortages in trying to nourish another 2 million residents.

Seriously, who voted for this?

Cut immigration now:

Leith van Onselen


  1. Will somebody think of the children! Seriously though, there are not enough schools to house the current amount of students with demountables everywhere in sight. Also who is going to train the 100,000 extra teachers needed? Oh that’s right, we will import them too!

        • It is not possible to vote them out as 99% of the media the population consume is controlled by corporate interests and they support mass migration as it makes their owners richer. Any party offering an alternative to neoliberal pseudo slavery will be relentlessly smeared in the papers.

          • Exactly. What kind of idiot still believes MSM?

            We’re too dumb to vote our way out of this mess.

          • This year, Australia watched undisturbed as MSM big Australia real estate conglomerate A, emerged with MSM big Australia real estate conglomerate B.

          • HadronCollisionMEMBER

            it’s possible to get an alternative

            someone like Dick Smith, lot of $$, and a viable party.

            The third part of the function is an issue

          • A viable party only requires lots of $$$$.
            The problem is those controlling $$$$$ are quite happy with how the current lib/lab are performing hence they continue to give those $$$ to them.
            I expect a party espousing the populist values you are talking about would be unpopular with those who have $$$$ to throw at it.
            This is the problem.

          • Preamble: I am not against immigration. I am against uncontrolled immigration, which in my view is what is happening currently in this country of ours.
            I am an immigrant of Indian origin who applied for PR in India in late 1996 and got PR in India in late 1999 (took three years to get it) and arrived in this country in 2000. If I am right, those days, John Howard kept the permanent intake to about 70-80K between 1996-1999 while he was rationalizing the entire immigration program.
            I am a citizen since 2009. I am a self funded retiree (took a very early one, after being in IT for a while in this country), who is currently in money saving mode expecting to live comfortably after 2022. I am the only one from my immediate family outside India, Rest are happily settled in India and well off and my Old parents are well looked after by my Brothers. They are just higher middle class there.

            I squarely and without compunction put the entire blame of immigration and runaway house values on successive governments and bankers. So, in my view it is foolish to blame the immigrants or the real estate guys at all. Simply because, when an opportunity arises many (not all) will take advantage of it. It is the Job of the Gate keepers to keep it under control (as they have then power to do so), in which our successive governments and bankers have spectacularly failed.

            Having said the above for the real story now (call it at my view),

            Do not worry guys, as the economy goes down the proverbial,

            a) There will come a day (in about 3 years or sooner, I think), when a big chunk the immigrants will start to go back as they cannot find jobs.
            b) In fact good chunk of those born here or have lived here for long (20 years or more) will also migrate to other countries in search of jobs.

            Now some will say that many will remain here adhered to the government teats. Nope Sir that would not be the entire case. Yes, some will, that is inevitable.

            Many immigrants come here thinking this is a great green pasture.
            (And it used to be. I came here in 2000 to Melbourne. I know it was a golden country then.)

            Now, these same immigrants find that you need to work your bottoms off and pay heavy taxes to live here. They are happy to do this as they came to build their lives and settle well here. But when they see that their plan is not working anymore (I am talking now about future when economy goes down) and add to that the water woes, a huge chunk will return to where they came from.

            I have seen the quality downturn in Australia unfold in front of my eyes,

            a) Until I think 2003/2004 it was all fine and dandy.
            b) Then I think two things happened. The immigration flood gates were opened and House prices started to go up like rocket. 2003, from a graph I saw, seems to be the year of highest affordability in last 20 years, if you go purely by volume of transactions.

            Anecdotal evidence,
            1) When I came in (2000) the Metro trains in Melbourne had thick cushioned seats, floor carpeted, brown tinted glass windows and by Mid-Morning until late afternoon you would not find many people in the train. In fact in the night they used to close/shut down all coaches of a train excepting the front two for security. That is not the case anymore.

            2) Between Jobs I went to a interview for a Telemarketing Job in 2001 (did that for about two months in the evening). I was the only one with suit (double breasted and with tie). It was a group interview and many who came looked like young people in simple dress and the interviewer looked at me up down perhaps thinking where did this fellow come from.
            Fast forward 2009, again between jobs, I went for interviews for a Telemarketing Job, unsuccessfully. This time I found a local person with tie in one of the interview, if I remember well. Tells you volumes about job market change.
            3) Shared accommodation was easy (and very cost effective) to get in 2009 and even in 2015 in Melbourne.
            Fast forward 2017 that became difficult and pricey. Ask me, I had to move to Perth and since then I am living in Perth, to cut down on costs. Why, two main reasons, too many immigrants and house values in stratosphere.

            Now to further add and give you the rosy (not!) picture of future,

            a) As automation improves and increases big time in near future, I expect by 2060 (slow to start with from 2023/2024 and then gather terrific speed), 80% of the population in the world will not be having jobs, does not matter whether it is a developed or developing country. Some will say that this has happened before and new jobs have replaced them. Nope sir (excepting in one scenario, which I will not discuss here), the rate of replacement of jobs will progressively and rapidly (eventually) become very very low.
            b) Those countries who transition themselves in to social welfare societies by implementing Universal Basic Income/Universal Healthcare/Universal Housing will be well off in future. Those that do not plan for it and implement it will also arrive to the same situation albeit with lot of strife/riots etc…
            c) People who talk about Gender equality at workplace. Well they have two surprises that are coming. There will be mostly only two kinds of jobs,
            1) Knowledge Jobs (AI, Robotics etc…. and other fields enabled by automation) for which Gender will become irrelevant.
            If you have the Domain (accounting, Mining, Manufacturing etc…) skills and Automation usage skills for that domain then you are in otherwise you are out, Period and Paragraph.
            2) Service jobs (Hospitality, Healthcare, Aged care, Mental health care etc…). Here at least for a while the female Gender will do quite well. Later even in these sectors, robotics/AI will take away plenty of jobs and plain competition will make life not easy, irrespective of Gender.

        • It quite literally couldn’t be done last election.
          What party ran candidates in enough seats to actually form a government besides lib/lab?
          No doubt it won’t be doable next election either.

          • You seem to misunderstand. It was impossible to not vote in labor or liberal. there simply wasn’t enough alternate candidates.
            Trolling facebook and twitter isn’t going to create some new political party that will run candidates across the country.

            But hey, maybe I’m wrong. Start up a party and have a go.
            There seems to be quite a few contributors here who would join you.

          • If LNP or Labor won 50 seats all up, they’d form government, but they can’t do a thing without a majority of the vote that must include whoever we put in all the other seats.

            Have some imagination. It’s absolutely possible. All that’s stopping it is not enough of us voting against LNP and Labor.

          • Actually all that’s stopping us is not enough people with a high enough profile running against the duopoly.
            How do you propose choosing from the swarm of independents in a given seat and getting a majority to vote for that particular person?
            Peter pan had imagination. Does that mean you can jump out of a window and fly?

          • Like I said. All we need is a plan and enough people to push it.

            I’ve proposed dozens of ideas like a petition/pledge to leave LNP, Labor and Greens last. I’ve proposed to break the Labor party. I’ve proposed picking a candidate in each seat and telling enough people we’re voting xyz in your seat to rid us of LNP and Labor.

            I’ve gotten a total of zero support. Thanks for that.

            It would work if enough people embraced pretty much any idea.

            Like I said, Australians aren’t smart enough to fix this, as opposed to your view of democracy isn’t actually democracy when it absolutely clearly is.

          • If it so clearly is true democracy, how come throughout history the same story is repeated over and over.
            Convincing people like you that it is true democracy despite all evidence to the contrary in actual outcomes is why it has been so successful for so long.
            Don’t tell me what could happen, show me what does happen.
            In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice they aren’t.

          • So your prophecy is it can’t work and you and everyone else have proven it by not helping me try it?

            Doesn’t seem very smart to me.

      • They are doing so much damage to our environment and society that getting rid of the major parties needs to take priority over all other considerations. We need to put the major parties last and any other Big Australia parties as close to the bottom as we can get them, regardless of whoever is running against them — the Marijuana Party, the Vegans, or whoever. We also need to put the (major party) sitting member last. This might really make a difference in marginal seats, as it would encourage such members to desert their party to be re-elected.

    • Strange EconomicsMEMBER

      Do a few sums and see why congestion will be incurable –
      Sydney or Melbourne get 2 million more people – say 1 million commuters to work or school…

      A train or freeway can carry 100K people in a 2 hour peak –
      So Sydney and Melbourne each needs 5 new metros or 5 new Motorways by 2041.!.
      Currently only building 1 of each…
      Not going to solve congestion with building…

      And at 100 billion of cost building 10 transits, would need to allow budget cost at 50K for each extra person. (before other costs such as hospitals and schools…)
      Soon cancels any GDP per capita increase if they actually built enough…

        • Strange EconomicsMEMBER

          Sad but true. The question is whether it is deliberate scam or just unfortunate consequences of either ignorant or neo-liberal religion pollies seeing only the benefits to their group of mates….

    • Don’t sweat on it Bz.
      5 years from now the population will be half what it is now, and people will be scrambling to leave.
      The Climate Catastrophe will wreck this continent, it has already started.
      Raging bush fires , mega droughts and massive heatwaves interspersed with biblical deluges will finish off agriculture.
      Starvation will stalk the land.
      RE won’t be worth apinch of sh!t.

  2. one more meaningless projection assuming nothing changes for 20 or more years
    there is going to be a period in next 20 years when Sydney population is going to drop maybe even as much as 10% at one point of time

  3. reusachtigeMEMBER

    I’m looking forwarded to the added vibrancy, and I’m buying up water rights to sell to these fckers to make massive profits!

  4. DoctorX, brace yourself, it is entirely possible that nothing changes for 20 or more years. The Big Australia lobby (political parties, Treasury, RBA, states and cities, the property lobby, media, academics and unions) is pervasive and all-powerful, and they couldn’t care less about the electorate or the environment. For Labor and Greens, it seems as if the logical reaction to fire and drought is to increase migration. Not for anything will they stand up and oppose Morrison.

    • Any politician that stands up to mass migration will be slandered relentlessly by the press. If Australia had direct democracy though it would be simple to implement a immigration reduction through a quick referendum as polls already show the majority of people support a reduction in immigration numbers. Sadly Australia is not and has never been a democracy.

      • Strange EconomicsMEMBER

        The better model to understand is to consider Australia’s ruling group as a bank-ocracy.
        20 % More people = 20% more home loans = 20% more salary!

    • I was not referring to political or legislative changes – they are likely to stay the same

      what will change is reality, Sydney is quite an expensive place to spend unemployed days
      Ireland made immigration easier around GFC yet net migration went large negative for years

  5. MountainGuinMEMBER

    Is an upgrade the right word to describe a increase in projected population? Much more of a downgrade I think….

  6. Flammable Cladding

    And they’ll be aiming to cut the health workforce in that period by 10% and health spending by 20%

    NSW Health estimates it will need to slash a fifth of its overall spending to avoid a funding shortfall of $7 billion to $10 billion, including a 10 per cent reduction of its workforce

    In truth the figure is more like $50 billion, when you take into account the amount they are behind at the moment

    If people reckon its bad now, Sydney circa 2030-2040 is going to be a pretty sh!te place to live …

    Oh well – I’m off to lay siege to the SMH ‘Great Firewall of Immigration Denial’. Wish me luck.

    • HadronCollisionMEMBER

      It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out in outpatient/ambulatory care. Remembering of course hospitals aren’t obligated to offer outpatient services, so can shut them down unless they receive sufficient (Commonwealth) funding. Or there’s a change to how named referrals are handles (vis a vis the rules around them). The next NHRA will be interesting.

      There’s definitely a lot of work around patient centred medical home, Value Based Healthcare etc to help address all this,.