NSW government urged to make progress on housing affordability

An industry body has urged the Berejiklian government to “embrace progress” and advance its policy agenda to boost housing affordability.

Acting executive director of the Property Council of Australia Cheryl Thomas believes that the NSW government has made a “good headway” but called for Premier Gladys Berejiklian to implement reforms to provide certainty for the industry and community.

“The Berejiklian government has a made good headway creating and consulting on policies and plans to boost housing supply, but we need decisions made and reforms implemented to give industry and the community certainty,” Ms Thomas said.  

The acting director urged the Premier to advance policy proposals put forward by the Berejiklian government as part of its housing affordability package in June 2017.

Ms Thomas said: “Currently, 66 plans or policies are under consideration on the Department of Planning and Environment’s website. We need decisions made on these and action taken to improve housing affordability.

“Good ideas, like the introduction of a Medium Density Housing Code to fast track low-impact housing, were proposed and exhibited over 12 months ago, with decisions still pending.

“Similarly, the exhibition period for the 2016 review of the Sydney Olympic Park Master Plan ended in November 2016. The industry and the community ha[ve] been waiting too long for this to be finalised.”

Ms Thomas acknowledged that policy decisions cannot be “made lightly”, but she noted that the NSW economy is in “good shape” and presents the government with an opportunity to produce outcomes in 2018.  

“Decisions about the future shape of our city and neighbourhoods should not be made lightly, but ultimately decisions do have to be made so that announcements are translated into action. The longer decisions are delayed, outcomes, like improving housing affordability, are not achieved,” the acting director continued.

“NSW is in excellent economic shape, with record infrastructure spending and strong jobs growth. A year into her Premiership, we urge Premier Berejiklian to make 2018 a year of decisions, so in 12 months’ time we can be toasting outcomes, not plans.

“The Property Council looks forward to continuing to work with on the design and implementation of planning policy and further strengthening our state’s economic position.”

[Related: New legislation provides tax cut for first home buyers]

NSW government urged to make progress on housing affordability
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