The CEO of the newly formed Housing Supply Association (HSA) has welcomed the NSW Government’s new direction for its land and development agency, Landcom to help address Sydney’s critical need for affordable housing, but questioned its application.
Bill Pickering said the plan for Landcom in theory represented a great move forward, but he worried that it was yet another “band-aid measure to cover up the real crisis – a Government paralysed by an overly complex planning approval process controlled by bureaucrats, and being dictated to by rebel MPs who don’t want appropriate development in their own backyard”.
Mr Pickering said the Coalition had already effectively taken planning powers away from its own Minister and given authority to a faceless bureaucracy.
“The Coalition is responsible for an amazing array of arms-length agencies involved in the development approval process. There is the newly introduced compulsory Independent Hearing Assessment Panels (IHAPs) for councils, Joint Regional Planning Panels (JRPPs), the Gateway process, The Greater Sydney Commission (GSC), the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC), Urban Growth NSW, Landcom, the NSW Department of Planning and others.
“The Government has tried hard to create housing around Urban Activation Precincts and to establish of Priority Precincts around major new transport infrastructure – supposedly with a mandate to supply more housing. But enter rebel MPs such as Ray Williams and David Elliott who are prepared to smash their own Government’s mandate to prevent their own backyards from sharing responsibility for housing for young first-home buyers and others,” he said.
The new direction for Landcom is said to involve increased partnership with the private sector, but this agency has not approached the HSA, according to Mr Pickering.
“The Housing Supply Association has been established specifically to address the housing crisis by bringing together industry, government and purchasers or renters. We already have the structure in place to assist Landcom, so they should use our Association.”
“If Landcom really has the authority to get results and cut through Government inaction and red-tape, the HSA is ready and able to help make affordable housing happen,” Mr Pickering said.
Media contact: CEO, Housing Supply Association Bill Pickering. Phone 0404 074 299.