DESPITE very few rivers crossing this land … a history of droughts spanning years at a time … most of us live on a narrow coastal strip … our crops and meat farmed from very limited fertile arable land ...
YET articles can be found daily referring to high immigration and visa manipulation … BUT we are still reading about ‘Australia’s fast-growing population’ …
WHY aren’t other MPs and Ministers talking about these issues?
IT would appear here in NSW we now finally have a Planning Minister who is eminently qualified for this role … who recognises there is a need for an increase in the variety of housing types ...
HOWEVER if there were not so many flying in and buying up ‘new homes’ … PERHAPS not so many Australians would have to compromise for an apartment?
VIEW the Key Points Rob Stokes raised in his Analysis 23 September 2019
‘Four-bedroom high-rise units’: Stokes pushes for housing variety as city’s population grows
By Megan Gorrey
September 23, 2019
High-rise buildings of four-bedroom apartments are among the types of new homes Sydney needs to house its fast-growing population.
NSW Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes told The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Population Summit on Monday that while Sydney needed at least 725,000 new homes to meet demand by about 2030, not all of those homes would look the same.
“We’re in a post-modern world and the idea of making assumptions about family structure or shape or size is completely false, it doesn’t bear any relevance any more,” he said.
Mr Stokes said that the city’s changing demographics required “an increase in variety, not just an increase in volume“.
“An increase in variety of high density, of medium density, of low-medium density, and of course a traditional detached product.
“But that doesn’t mean all detached homes will look the same, they won’t all be four-bedroom, two-bathroom, we will need small detached homes,” he said. “Just as in the same way, every high-rise unit should not be two-bedroom. We are going to need four-bedroom high-rise units, just as much as we are going to need small houses into the future.”
Mr Stokes’ remarks put him at odds with the view of former planning minister Anthony Roberts, who previously voiced his desire for smaller, affordable apartments and fewer large units in Sydney’s north-west.
In a dispute over the number and size of residential apartment buildings planned for the seat of Castle Hill in 2017, Mr Roberts said the area needed more affordable units rather than “an over abundance of apartments that are just McMansions in the sky”.
Mr Stokes, who is in his second stint as planning minister, supports building more low-rise, medium-density housing, such as terrace homes, in suburban areas as an alternative to freestanding houses or taller apartment blocks.
But the state government’s medium-density housing code faced backlash from nearly 50 Sydney councils, which successfully pushed for the policy’s introduction to be deferred in their areas.
The planning department said last week the introduction of the code has been further delayed until July to allow councils to finalise new plans that will inform the shape of development in their areas.
Mr Stokes also used his address at Monday’s summit, and an opinion piece in the Herald, to throw his support behind a “national settlement strategy”, arguing a new approach is needed to balance the economic benefit of a booming population against its environmental and community impact.
Megan Gorrey is the Urban Affairs reporter at the Sydney Morning Herald.