Conversations with the Minister series: Where will 1 million more people live?

| April 26, 2017

Sydney will grow by more than a million people over the next 10 years. NSW Minister for Planning, Housing, and Special Minister of State, the Hon. Anthony Roberts MP, explains how the NSW Government is tackling this challenge.


People want to live in their own homes near their families, near where they work and near good schools, services and amenities.

Sydney continues to lead in economic metrics and data shows that Australia’s global city will grow by more than a million people over the next 10 years. More than half of this growth will occur in Western Sydney.

One of the big projects we need to work on for future Sydney is ensuring there are enough homes to accommodate this growing population. This is on top of pent-up demand, which is estimated to be equivalent to around 100,000 homes due to past underbuilding.

The NSW Government is tackling this challenge through several schemes:

Development where it makes sense

  • The Priority Growth Area and Precincts Program plans for new homes, jobs, improved public spaces and infrastructure close to transport and services to meet our growing population’s needs, making it easier for people to travel to work and walk or cycle to shops and services.
  • In the North West and South West Growth Centres we’ve rezoned or released 27 precincts for a total of 119,800 dwellings and 64,600 jobs.
  • In Crows Nest and St Leonards, investigations are already underway to deliver new homes in conjunction with the metro stations we’re building in these areas.

Land release

  • The NSW Government is doing this by releasing and rezoning more land than ever before to create new communities.
  • There is enough zoned and serviced greenfield land to support more than 80,000 new homes in greater Sydney (excluding the Central Coast), and a further 75,000 could be built when the infrastructure such as roads and water is available.

Faster and more housing approvals

  • NSW continues to lead the country in the number of new homes being approved. Approvals are maintaining record highs, recording more than 70,000 since November 2015, mainly on the back of increased multi-unit developments.
  • The Department’s Metropolitan Housing Monitor showed 35,382 new homes and apartments had been finished in the Greater Sydney region in the year to January 2017. This is the highest number of completions since June 1971.

We want to hear from you

Communities are built on the sharing of ideas and exchange of knowledge. Securing NSW and Sydney’s place in the global economy and securing sustainable growth will require innovative ways to approach housing affordability.

Housing Affordability Online Consultation:

Q: What can be done to improve housing affordability?

Anthony Roberts MP
The Hon Anthony Roberts MP is the New South Wales Minister for Planning, the Minister for Housing, and the Special Minister of State since January 2017 in the Berejiklian government. A Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, he has represented the Electorate of Lane Cove for the Liberal Party since 2003. Following the Coalition victory in the March 2011 election, Anthony was appointed Minister for Fair Trading in the O’Farrell Government, assuming his position on 3 April 2011. Upon taking office, he immediately embarked on a wide-ranging Fair Trading reform agenda in areas including the State’s fifty year-old strata and community title laws, the home building sector, the retirement village industry, the motor vehicle industry, and the residential land lease communities sector. He successfully implemented legislation to prohibit the sale, manufacture and possession of synthetic drugs, was responsible for introducing new measures to reduce the number of children falling from apartment windows, and developed new laws to address the issue of ticket scalping for major events in NSW. On 9 December 2013 Anthony was promoted by then-Premier Barry O’Farrell to the role of Minister for Resources and Energy, and Special Minister of State. On 23 April 2014 Premier Mike Baird promoted Anthony to the additional role of Leader of the House in the NSW Legislative Assembly, on top of his existing portfolios. As Leader of the House, Anthony is responsible for the Government’s legislative agenda. Since December 2013 Anthony has embarked on a series of aggressive energy market reforms, including deregulating electricity prices, announcing a market-led rollout of smart electricity meters and ending gold-plating of the electricity networks. In the resources sector he has delivered the landmark NSW Gas Plan, facilitated the signing of an historic agreement on land access between gas producers and landholders, and commenced the first NSW Minerals Industry Action Plan. He served as Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy between 2015 and January 2017.

5 Comments

  1. xphung

    April 27, 2017 at 11:48 am

    I am a landowner at [edited by moderator] Cooper St Strathfield, which is just 200m away from Strathfield train station. I I and 60+ other residents living on streets near the station are calling for the NSW Government to nominate Strathfield for incorporation into the NSW Priority Precinct program (petitions/signatures of these residents available on request).

    Some facts about Strathfield station precinct:
    * 80% of land owners/residents living on streets around Strathfield train station support high rise residential development of up to 24 storeys in the proximity of the station.

    * Strathfield station is the largest suburban station in all of Greater Sydney. It has double the train services of Parramatta, and double the train services of Chatswood.

    * Strathfield station unfortunately has suffered from fragmented planning due to it being divided up amongst three different council territories (Canada Bay, Burwood and Strathfield councils). A priority precinct program nomination will help bring coherent planning to an area.

    * Strathfield is ideally located for more housing with superb private & public schools, private & public hospitals, TAFE and a university all nearby as well as excellent access to jobs in Sydney CBD, Parramatta CBD and Macquarie Park strategic centre. It has excellent accessibility with a Walkability
    Score of 86 (source: http://www.walkability.com), and excellent bike, bus, road and train connections.

    • VictorK

      May 4, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      Reading your section, I am guessing you are asking the planning minister to consider increasing the zoning and density allowance about your land.

      My background is an immigrant arriving here many years ago and thankfully I am able to afford buying into a property in Strathfield/Burwood area when prices are more affordable (than say in recent times). I have many generation Ys and millennia friends who complained that they cannot afford buying into a property due to affordability.

      Personally I believe there are a few strategies the government can adopt to help people buy into properties, considering how the housing crisis is founded from supply shortages.

      Most people would agree with the government about rezoning into areas that have access to transport facilities rather than the previous government where at some point thought about opening up lands 30 to 40 kms away from the city. This strategy would allow the government to use existing infrastructure, invest some capital into existing, compared to creating a whole new suburb far far away from the city and investing big dollars.

      To reinforce your question to Hon Anthony Roberts MP, what are the practical steps for landowners to action where opportunities exist – how to work with the planning department and change the zoning & density allowance?

  2. MaryF

    April 27, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    BOOSTING HOUSING SUPPLY – STRATHFIELD RAILWAY STATION
    Housing affordability is the hottest political issue at all levels of government.
    Strathfield Railway Station is the biggest suburban railway station in all of Sydney. There are 70 trains departing Strathfield to Central between the peak hours of 7amto 9am Monday to Friday. Streets adjacent to Strathfield Railway Station such as Manson Rd, Swan Avenue and Cooper Street provide the perfect opportunity to boost supply of housing. The overwhelming majority of landowners in these streets are in favour of high rise development of 20 to 30 storeys.

    Number of trains from various stations to Central between 7am-9am Monday-Friday Strathfield: 70
    Parramatta: 35
    Chatswood: 32
    Bondi Junction: 31
    Hurstville: 35

    The following quote is taken from the publication “Who Moves What Where – Freight and Passenger Transport in Australia” National Transport Commission August 2016, p 133
    https://www.ntc.gov.au/Media/Reports/(D62E6EFC-36C7-48B1-66A7-DDEF3B04CCAE).pdf
    Average time between trains for services arriving at Sydney Central
    “Strathfield has the best train interval (or, put another way, highest train frequency) with an average 2 minutes between trains during the peak and 4 minutes between trains in the defined off-peak period. Strathfield railway station benefits from short train intervals due to its location at the junction of the Northern line with the Inner West, South and Western lines. It is a major interchange station which also serves regional and interstate CountryLink passengers and abuts a bus interchange.”

  3. Baz01

    April 28, 2017 at 3:04 am

    For years, the owners of acreage in the South West Growth area have been waiting for the release of the new ” South West Land Use and Infrastructure Strategy”… They were promised that this strategy will give owners certainty as to the timing of releasing the remaining land!
    Where is this strategy at? and what do we expect to see in it?

  4. carolynh

    May 1, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    I am a Resident/ Landowner at [edited by moderator] Manson Rd Strathfield, which is a short walking distance Strathfield train station , infrastructure and shopping centre at Strathfield.
    I and 60+ other residents living on streets near the station are calling for the NSW Government to nominate Strathfield for incorporation into the NSW Priority Precinct program (petitions/signatures of these residents available on request).
    Some facts about Strathfield station precinct:
    * 80% of land owners/residents living on streets around Strathfield train station support high rise residential development of up to 24 storeys in the proximity of the station.
    * Strathfield station is the largest suburban station in all of Greater Sydney. It has double the train services of Parramatta, and double the train services of Chatswood.
    * Strathfield station unfortunately has suffered from fragmented planning due to it being divided up amongst three different council territories (Canada Bay, Burwood and Strathfield councils). A priority precinct program nomination will help bring coherent planning to an area.
    * Strathfield is ideally located for more housing with superb private & public schools, private & public hospitals, TAFE and a university all nearby as well as excellent access to jobs in Sydney CBD, Parramatta CBD and Macquarie Park strategic centre. It has excellent accessibility with a Walkability Score of 86 (source: http://www.walkscore.com), and excellent bike, bus, road and train connections.
    * This area also has walking accessibility to Shops, Doctors, Dentist etc in the Strathfield Shopping Centre, and walking distance to major shopping at Burwood.