WHEN the libs gained power back in 2011 their Plan was to STOKE THE ECONOMY by just adding People … with the subliminal message ‘SYDNEY IS GROWING’ …

STOKES was in the hot seat last week at the property sector Good Growth Summit

WAS this STOKES attempt to penetrate the audience with the message that the backlash was PERHAPS due to the predominance of high-rise precinct ghettos for foreign buyers … ?

And that Australians were not included … ?

MEANWHILE the Libs Plan seems to be about setting Gens X, Millennial and Z against The Boomers …

KEEP IT UP BOOMERS … we are getting under their skin …

Planning Minister Rob Stokes blames Baby Boomers for NIMBYs blocking growth

Andrew Taylor
By Andrew Taylor

November 10, 2019

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Baby Boomers are primarily responsible for hostility toward housing growth and density, Planning Minister Rob Stokes says, accusing the generation of being the drivers of so-called NIMBYism.

The ‘Not In My Back Yard’ mindset, which is opposed to nearby development, sprung from an anti-growth mentality of the 1960s and 1970s, Mr Stokes said. Baby Boomers were “the largest cohort, I suppose, in NIMBYs and also an important cohort in decision-makers today”, he said.

NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes has spoken about the challenges of providing good growth.
NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes has spoken about the challenges of providing good growth.CREDIT:LOUISE KENNERLEY

“When they were reaching their level of political activism and awakening was at a time in the 60s and 70s when growth was being challenged,”

Mr Stokes told the Good Growth Summit last week.

Speaking to developers, planning bureaucrats and community leaders, Mr Stokes said growth had become a concept to be suspected, resisted or treated with outright hostility.

He said many policymakers had grown up during the 1960s and 1970s when “growth started to get its bad name” because of books such as Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and the apocalyptic predictions of the Club of Rome in The Limits to Growth.

“That idea has seeped into the popular culture and is a pervasive, if unrecognised or almost subconscious mental model in many of the people leading the discussion today,” he said.

“So we actually are fighting against a great weight of cultural development over the last 40 or 50 years.”

The Planning Minister also called for a new approach to housing that recognised the rights of renters to have security of tenure and embedded “diversity” across Sydney.

“We need to recognise that housing is not just an asset class, actually far more than that, it’s about providing a place to live,” he said.

He emphasised the importance of accommodating different cultures, housing types and tenures across Sydney rather than in ghettos.

“And that is an incredibly difficult thing to do,” he said. “Because we’re working against all sorts of ingrained prejudices, working against a planning system that itself has been based on the idea of excluding uses.”

Despite these challenges, Mr Stokes said it was important to build an “inclusive” city.

“It is hard work but it’s important work because if we don’t live next to each other, we don’t understand each other, we don’t talk to each other,” he said.

“And if we don’t do that, we’re not building a health inclusive city. And we’re actually creating huge blockages toward productivity that can increase prosperity for all.”


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*Labors’ planning spokesman Adam Searle said the planning system had worsened under the Liberal-National coalition.

“Growth and development in Sydney have a bad reputation today because over the last decade it has been allowed to occur unevenly, with some areas bearing the brunt while other areas do not take their fair share,” he said.

Mr Searle also said infrastructure had not kept up with the pace of development.

“To add insult to injury, much of the housing stock produced is simply too expensive for many in our community, with investors snapping up new properties,” he said. “This damages public confidence and acceptance of further development.”


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David Barrow, the lead organiser of the Sydney Alliance, said the NSW government and local councils had failed to build adequate affordable housing for low-income workers, pensioners and the homeless.

“The redevelopment and gentrification of Sydney on the new Metro lines will likely outprice and displace thousands out of their own communities unless thousands of affordable homes are built,” he said.

Mr Stokes also emphasised the importance of democratic planning processes, which he said could be “enormously frustrating” for developers.

“You can’t create a place without talking to the people who are going to live and work and inhabit those places,” he said in his speech.

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Andrew Taylor

Andrew Taylor is a Senior Reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.