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Urban Taskforce praise Planning Minister
Released 6 April 2011

Developer lobby group, Urban Taskforce, has welcomed the appointment of Brad Hazzard as NSW Planning Minister.   

Urban Taskforce Chief Executive Aaron Gadiel said Hazzard has spent four years talking the industry and the wider community about planning issues.

“We welcome the continuity that Mr Hazzard’s transition from shadow minister to minister will bring,” Gadiel said.

“Mr Hazzard’s appointment ensures the government is able to fully act on the extensive consultation he carried out on behalf of the Liberal and National parties.” Gadiel said the new government has huge challenges before it.

“NSW was number one for building activity until 2007, but we lost that title to Victoria and we have never regained it,” he said.

“The value of Victorian building activity is 12 per cent higher than in NSW.
“Per head of population, investment in Victorian building is running at one-and-half times that of NSW.

Gadiel said renters had been hit hard by the housing undersupply.

“In the last four years, median rents for three bedroom houses in outer suburban Sydney have soared by 44 per cent – that’s an average annual increase of 9.5 per cent,” he said.

“In the last four years, rents for two bedroom apartments in the inner suburbs have swollen by 41 per cent – an average of 9 per cent a year.

Gadiel said NSW’s development levies on new homes were the highest in the country and the planning system was the nation’s most chaotic.
“The state’s planning system is in disarray and in urgent need of a major overhaul,” he said.

Gadiel said the urban development industry respected the new government’s clear mandate to repeal Part 3A of the planning law.

“The repeal of Part 3A will mean that comprehensive reform of the planning system is unavoidable,” he said.

“This means less red tape, stronger efforts to boost the supply of new homes and more public investment in urban infrastructure.