High-Rise Titans allege NSW INC favours Urban Sprawl

A corner captured of Macquarie Park high-rise development …. CAAN photo; December 2021.

Today in a report in the SMH: ‘Developers slam state government for favouring urban sprawl over tall towers’ Urban Taskforce chief executive Tom Forrest alleges that the State Government has presided over a “dramatic downturn” in high-rise approvals and “there was a clear preference for greenfield development”. And defining those opposed to high-rise residential apartment towers as selfish and myopic.

WHO are selfish and myopic?

NOT DEVE-LOPERS who landbank, and per$uade some like-minded councillors to rezone for higher density developments robbing the neighbourhood of its amenity … to build storey upon storey … as high as 40, 60. 70  storeys … to make a motza?

AND market their ‘new homesto South East Asia esp. China, Singapore, Malaysia, India et al?

WHAT would bring about a downturn in high-rise approvals?

That would not be a consequence of high-rise falling down, would it? … Yet despite this so-called downturn more high-rise precincts are underway in Macquarie Park, Carlingford, Epping, Lidcombe, Parramatta and … across the Central Coast. But this Mob always want more … far more …

WHAT are Sydney’s other defective towers aside from the Opal Tower, and Mascot Towers?

To list some that come to mind …

‘Aya Eliza’, 93 Auburn Road, Auburn … its developer, Goldenia Developments, and sole director Merhis has been handed orders to fix its serious defects!

-2 Parramatta apartment towers by developer Merhis Group in the CBD and Hassall Developments issued with a prohibition order

Centenary Park, 81-86 Courallie Street, Homebush West, Sydney.

World Tower by Meriton

45 Bowman Street, Pyrmont, Sydney; cladding

-another high-profile construction group, Ganellen, placed one of its companies into administration , midway through a court battle over defects

Icon Construction Australia (NSW) Pty Ltd was placed into voluntary administration in November.

-Named as a “related entity” to Icon Co (NSW) Pty Ltd, The former of the companies is being chased over alleged defects in apartments it built at Rosebery, Waterloo, Hurstville, Bondi, Lane Cove, Greenwich and Five Dock.

CAAN copies here some Tradie comments about the Building Industry in July 2021 …. we will include them anonymously …

-“I left the building industry when I went to do the underfloor plumbing of a house to find the pad was half poured, when they realized they stopped and tryed to put big foam blocks in in the hope US plumbers and electricians could dig them out and do our services. Vorticon plastic had to be breached it was the biggest mess I’ve seen I feel so sorry for the owners I wish I could have told them. I did one apartment block, when I arrived they showed me a system for sewer that was noise resistant. They showed me the pipe bracketing and I couldn’t understand the concept the pipes were loose in their bracket this could only create noise. A dampener was on the pipe 300mm up from the bracket it was meant to sound absorb but was installed incorrectly. They gave me a brochure on the product and I came in the next day and taught them that the shock absorber was meant to be mounted directly above and on the sloppy brackets acting as a absorber so noise wasn’t transmitted through the bracket fixing creating noise when water went down the stack. They couldn’t believe it they always wondered how it worked and I showed these people who installed this product for 2 years wrong and it passed the plumbing inspectors eyes every time and the building inspector what a joke. They then pointed to the 100 apartment block across the road and said that job was bracketed in sloppy bracket with 2mm play rattling around every time someone used the toilet. Ignorance is bliss my stories could go for ever its embarrassing to be involved in construction.”

-“Being a boilermaker for the past 22 years I can tell you these days the quality is gone, imported junk not enough checking or inspections etc.extremely dangerous and a lot of ticking time bombs all over Australia.”

-“Don’t blame builders, blame poor regulations that allow them to do what they do”

-“To restore buyer confidence in a soft market”. What kind of prescription painkillers allows you to see this as a soft market? It’s still too hard for young people to jump onto the propery ladder, or rather, elevator. Why am i calling it an elevator? Because it’s moving up so fast that old players get better whilst new people can’t get a grip.

-“nobody should be allowed to buy off the plan. people should buy only when buildings are finished and inspected. let us remember those buildings at olympic park and near the airport, the last one built by aland, aland refuses to fix it and people lost millions and millions.”

SO what is the cause of the collapse in housing supply and massive rise in House Prices?

HAS the NSW Government reached its limits with deve-lopers infrastructure of roads, sewerage and fresh water?  What an incredible proposition that this alone is the cause of the collapse in housing supply and massive rise in housing prices? 

APART from government grants, and low interest rates, and increased competition from investors, the PRICE HIKE, of course, has nothing to do with the competition from the overseas marketing, visa manipulation, and Hot Money awash in our real estate … because the Real Estate Gatekeepers are exempt from the Anti-Money Laundering Laws …. cough … cough …  

IS this report from the Urban Taskforce, ‘Standing Tall‘,  to be believed when an earlier report in The Conversation by Jago Dodson: ‘The Carbon Devil in the Detail on Urban Density’ refutes what the UT puts:


“Alan Perkins and colleagues’ work in Urban Policy and Research, for example shows that on per-capita analysis, attached low-rise dwellings perform best in terms of CO2, with suburban and high-rise successively worse.

Such patterns arise because any valid assessment must account for all energy use. This includes energy ’embodied’ in a building during construction, plus energy used in ongoing operations. While residents of detached houses use high levels of energy to get around, because of their greater car reliance, their overall energy use per capita tends to be lower than high-rise residents.

This is because detached dwellings can consume less embodied and operational energy and that use is divided among a higher average occupancy rate (detached dwellings generally house more people than apartments).

The relationships between building type, urban form and CO₂ emissions become even more complex when income – or “lifestyle” – factors are included in the analysis. But it seems that high-rise urbanism exacts a high carbon cost.

The Australian carbon consumption atlas, prepared for the Australian Conservation Foundation by Chris Dey of the University of Sydney and colleagues, provides a striking illustration of this pattern.

Their work shows the highest per capita residential environmental consumption occurs in the higher density inner urban areas of Australian cities. The 37 tonnes of total CO₂ consumed per person each year by downtown Sydney residents is, for example, more than double the 16 tonnes produced by residents of Blacktown. There’s a carbon devil in the detail on density.

Such findings fundamentally confound the simple “high density good, low density bad” assumptions in current debates. High-rise apartments are far less of a solution to our urban environmental challenges than the prevailing consensus suggests. Even if better design could improve high-rise performance, so too could it improve that of other building types.”

READ MORE!https://theconversation.com/the-carbon-devil-in-the-detail-on-urban-density-4226

WHY would UT push for more High-Rise? Why would they want 34, 58, 60, 70 Storeys?

WHY … because storey upon storey they make a hell of a lot more, and they can source their buyers from across the World … no matter that this is the ‘driest continent on Earth’ … 

Associate Professor Philip Oldfield, head of the School of Built Environment at the University of NSW:

“In general taller buildings require more materials, and so have a higher embodied carbon,” he said. “They often rely on mechanical airconditioning, and have all-glass facades, so can have higher operational emissions as well.” …

Further, that there is an obvious profit motive for developers.”

WHO has been selfish? 

Developer Lobby Groups, The Urban Taskforce and the Property Council of Australia and those allied since 2011 and particularly since 2013 with the Federal Liberal Coalition, and through the Foreign Investment Review Board ruling that allowed them to sell 100% of ‘new homes’ to foreign buyers locking out Australian First Home Buyers

SO why was the second tranche of the Anti-Money Laundering Laws for the real estate gatekeepers shelved for more than a decade and then the Morrison Government exempted real estate agents, lawyers and accountants in October 2018 from these laws?  If it were not to create a huge demand by allowing money laundering in Australia’s property market? And facilitating what appears to be a never-ending demand for high-rise?   

THIS has meant not only are our families locked out by dirty money, but our quality of life has deteriorated with the loss of Our Heritage, and Our Urban Bushlands to make way for development.  Our public transport, hospitals and schools are all full-up at Taxpayers expense!  

Myopic … indeed Housing has never been more unaffordable since the introduction of high-rise, high density and high immigration.  Boomers were never faced with 10 years or more to save for a home deposit!  FFS! 

AS Professor Oldfield said: “A strategy for Sydney should be significant amounts of new four-to-eight storey mid-rise, suburban intensification and strategically placed tall buildings where there is access to infrastructure such as mass rapid transit.”

HOWEVER, at CAAN we suggest what needs to happen is a reversal of the FIRB Ruling allowing the 100% sale of our homes overseas; a cut to migration to a more sustainable annual 70,000 permanent migrants; rather than luring 400,000 – 500,000 temporary migrants with permanent residency on purchasing a home … and then just maybe our Families could raise a deposit for a detached home on the fringes if they so chose … having been priced out by the Gatekeepers from buying a home in the suburbs where they grew up!

The NSW Government could then possibly catch up with the infrastructure to meet current population demands!  
AS the property sector returned to building quality homes to Australian Standards!