Melbourne and Sydney suburbs at ‘tipping point’ as population soars



-apparently mass immigration population growth is something that can’t be stopped

-esp. when you and your donors and vested interests want it to prop and pump up your income

-at everybody else’s expense

-New York and London are seriously vibrant, smart and connected; Australians leave for these cities and don’t want to come back

-Sydney and Melbourne are force fed bland and crowded with low and semi-skilled workers and multi millionaire imports mainly from the Third World in greater numbers than the U.S.

– Melbourne and Sydney will be more like crowded low productivity Asian cities than New York or London. New York has the highest GDP per worker in the world by a mile at US$172,000 


what happens is the immigrants move in to these suburbs and the original residents are overwhelmed with the changes happening … that they are more likely to move to regional areas

-with Sydney’s geographical and resources limitations ideally having a max of 2 million people it has now turned into a dump because of unchecked immigration, and poor planning

-and myopic political vision catering to big business need for a third world workforce

-Sydney now ranks very low in the global cities liveability index; now in freefall in quality of life and housing affordability

-even tourists now shun Sydney due to congestion and expensive costs

View the comments … the majority are opposed to the growth agenda apart from a few developer lobby commentators …

Melbourne and Sydney suburbs at ‘tipping point’ as population soars

By Eryk Bagshaw and Shane Wright

August 16, 2019

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Five Melbourne and Sydney suburbs grew at more than six times the national average over the past decade, pumping residents into the inner-city, north-west and western suburbs of both cities, amid claims the federal government’s plan to push more migrants to the regions is doomed to fail.

New figures show Parklea in Sydney grew by 200 per cent over the past decade. Tarneit in Melbourne doubled that, adding almost 30,000 residents over the same period of time.

VIEW SOURCE LINK FOR VIDEO: The populations of Sydney and Melbourne have swelled over last decade, increasing pressure on infrastructure and transport.

The populations of Sydney and Melbourne have swelled over last decade, increasing pressure on infrastructure and transport.

Between 2017 and 2018 alone, Riverstone and Leppington in western Sydney beat the decade figure for the rest of the country of 16 per cent, adding 20 per cent to their populations of more than 20,000 in a single year.

Mickleham in Melbourne’s north grew by a staggering 50 per cent in 2017-18 while to the south-east Cranbourne’s population has soared by 21 per cent.

Deputy director at the Australian Urban Design Research Centre, Julian Bolleter, said the notion of the 1980s and 1990s that people would move out of the cities and work from home via their laptop had so far failed to materialise.


NSW population increases by suburb 2006-2016


Dr Bolleter said most of the nation’s GDP was generated out of a few city blocks in the major capitals, forcing many Australians to crowd into the inner city or inner suburbs.

If that trend continued, there would come a time for which governments had to now start planning.

“There’s going to come a tipping point where people will just get sick of the congestion and the pollution and the problems.

In Sydney and Melbourne, we could be getting to that tipping point now,” he said.

Maybe Newcastle and Wollongong or Geelong, where you get the right coastal amenity and which aren’t as expensive as Sydney or Melbourne, with the right transport links, could take pressure off Sydney and Melbourne.”

Dr Bolleter said before Sydney and Melbourne became “mega-cities”, which are cities with more than 10 million residents, planning for high speed rail links or even technology such as trackless trams had to start now.

Melbourne’s population growth

Percentage growth from 2006 to 2016 

-20% 100%+ SOURCE: ABS

VIEW SOURCE LINK for details on map

The government is set to ramp up its efforts to push more migrants to the regions desperate for more workers as strain grows on inner-city infrastructure.

This week the government announced the first immigration inquiry in 30 years. It will examine methods to attract and keep migrants in areas such as Shepparton in Victoria or Wagga Wagga NSW, more councils are expected to be given visa sponsorship powers, while tax concessions for businesses moving to regional areas have also been floated.

Bernard Baffour from the Australian National University’s School of Demography said there have been many policies to direct people away from the cities and into regional areas and “none of them have worked”.

“New policies are probably going to continue to fail unless there is a major discussion about how to make regional areas more attractive places to live and work in,” he said.

Dr Baffour said while major cities may be plagued by congestion or a poorer quality of life than regional centres they continued to be attractive because of the employment opportunities and social networks they offered.

He cited New York and London as examples of cities that were complained about but continued to grow.

“People just want to live in the capital cities and you have to expect that’s what is going to continue to happen,” he said.


Leppington 2006 and 2019

Source: Google Earth

Eryk Bagshaw

Eryk Bagshaw is an economics correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Shane Wright

Shane is a senior economics correspondent for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

An aerial view of the Bays Precinct area

PHOTO: The NSW Government said over 725,000 houses must be built in Sydney in the next 20 years. (Supplied: NSW Government) … whose idea? Cough … cough … ABC:




Concern over Australian population growth

International August 15, 2019

Infrastructure Australia has released a report saying that in order to cope with population growth, the government must invest $AU600 BILLION in major infrastructure projects over the next 15 years … WT *!

Anthony Albanese has conceded our Cities are facing an overcrowding crisis ….

BUT when he indicates that migration levels should go up and down according to producing the best economic outcome … who is that for?

IS it to maintain the Housing Ponzi of the Building Industry?

OR rather about boosting our home-grown Knowledge Economy? Returning to manufacturing for our own needs and an export market?

With family reunion isn’t that likely to place a greater burden on taxpayers with an increased demand on Medicare for elderly parents? And more housing competition?

Concern over Australian population growth

Xinhua / Share:    

CANBERRA (Xinhua) – Australia’s opposition leader has called for the nation to engage in a mature debate about “appropriate population growth”.

Anthony Albanese, the leader of the Australian Labor Party, on Wednesday told The Guardian that Australia’s major cities are facing an overcrowding “crisis”.

Infrastructure Australia, a government agency, on Tuesday released a report saying that in order to cope with population growth, the government must invest 600 billion Australian dollars (407.8 billion US dollars) in major infrastructure projects over the next 15 years.

Australia’s population is expected to reach 31.4 million by 2034 a 23.7 percent increase. And it is expected to grow to between 37.4 and 49.2 million people between 2034 and 2066.

“It’s a matter of appropriate population growth,” Albanese said.

A vast majority of that population growth is expected to occur in the nation’s four biggest cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

Melbourne and Sydney are expected to have more than 10 million people by the middle of the century.

The population is growing by an average of 450,000 people every year, with approximately 270,000 coming from overseas migration.

“I don’t have a target number, (but) we need to have an assessment about an appropriate number as we develop,” Albanese said.

Migration levels should go up and down according to what level is necessary to produce the best economic outcome while fulfilling social objectives as well, issues like family reunion.

He said the government seems to be drifting along on these issues without a strategy about the likely implications, like urban congestion.




ASK WHY? … The End of the Suburban Sprawl

HOW is high-rise, higher density going to solve the issue of providing enough inner-city services when we started from behind?

QUESTION for Infrastructure Australia and our political leaders … why persist with this to cope with the surging population? When the elephant in the room is the Housing Ponzi to meet the demand of high immigration and visa manipulation

HOW can planting more trees prevent the devastation from overdevelopment … where can trees be planted on such tiny lots?

-with lot sizes reduced to as little as 200M2 X 6M wide (Greenfields Housing Code)

-the Medium-Density Housing Code allowing for as many as 10 terraces on a 600M2 lot

Why do we really need to accommodate a larger population? Cough … cough …

Where will the water supply come from?

-Australian continent; the driest continent on Earth; it is almost as large as that of the U.S. but has few rivers crossing it; the Murray Darling has been sucked dry by irrigators

-we are currently continuing to experience water restrictions; our gardens are shrivelling up

-where will the water come from to quench the thirst and shower millions more people; 10 MILLION people in Sydney by mid Century … 2066?

-desalination is prohibitively expensive; plants can only operate on the coast

Have you noticed how our working conditions and wages have decreased with the competition for jobs from high immigration and Visa manipulation?

That despite this population growth our retailers are struggling? 

WHY not once again become a ‘clever country’?


By Eryk Bagshaw and Shane Wright

August 13, 2019

View all comments

Infrastructure Australia has declared the end of the suburban sprawl across Australia’s east coast and warned the biggest challenge facing government will be providing enough inner-city services to cope with the surging population.

The chief executive of the infrastructure regulator, Romilly Madew, said “the 70-year dominance of our urban fringe has ended” and a wave of investment and reform was needed to maintain quality of life.

Infrastructure Australia says the focus in Sydney and Melbourne has changed to building up existing suburbs.
Infrastructure Australia says the focus in Sydney and Melbourne has changed to building up existing suburbs. CREDIT:JAMES ALCOCK

Speaking ahead of the release of Infrastructure Australia’s four-year audit into the country’s transport, road and service needs on Tuesday, Ms Madew said Sydney and Melbourne had shifted from growing new suburbs to building up existing areas over the last two years.

“We are definitely transitioning into inner-urban [areas],” she said. “It’s quite clear.”


Road congestion is set to cost the country almost $40 billion a year without a substantial lift in spending and planning, Infrastructure Australia has warned

Sydney, Melbourne coming to a standstill as infrastructure struggles

Infrastructure Australia’s executive director of policy and research, Peter Colacino, said the audit was “the first time we have really called out that type of growth as the holistic challenge facing cities”.

He identified inner-Melbourne and Green Square in Sydney as areas that faced unprecedented levels of growth, as families looked to move closer to services and away from congested travel arteries to and from the outer suburbs.

The audit found that shift was likely to accelerate as commuters grew increasingly frustrated with gridlock on our road and rail networks, which is forecast to cost $38.8 billion in lost productivity over the next 12 years.

Mr Colacino said population forecasts, which relied on past estimates, were “not hitting the mark”.

“Population growth occurring at a higher rate or lower rate means that investment is not well targeted,” he said.

The audit found many hospitals and schools had reached capacity or were showing signs of age, requiring the construction of expensive new and upgraded facilities, especially in inner-urban areas.

Why are Sydney’s western suburbs heating up so much? We explore the the Urban Heat Island Effect.


Compounding the challenge was the lack of green space, turning some concrete-bound city suburbs into “urban heat islands”.

The report found some suburbs had temperatures up to 6 degrees higher than elsewhere because of the “heat island” effect.


Housing in Sydney.

Young families shut out of ‘huge swaths of Sydney’, Minister warns

“This is because the heat of the sun is absorbed and not reflected by urban surfaces such as buildings, car parks and roads. Human activities, such as traffic and the use of air conditioning, also increase the waste heat generated.”

The effect was particularly noticeable in the outer suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne, where urbanisation had reduced tree cover.

“The proportion of [Melbourne’s] cover located in outer suburbs is stark, indicating the majority of canopy cover is privately owned (in private residential backyards),” the report said.

It warned green canopy cover was increasingly hard to provide in cities as backyards decreased in size and more people moved into urban areas.


Developers are exempt  from all regulations.

The Herald’s Population Summit to shape conversations of the future

The report added that public green spaces and recreation infrastructure was already overused and the high cost of land made it difficult to fund the delivery and maintenance of this type of service in these cities.

“Our fast-growing cities risk not having adequate high-quality, accessible green and recreation infrastructure as they grow and densify, particularly in inner-urban areas.”

Eryk Bagshaw

Eryk Bagshaw is an economics correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Shane Wright

Shane is a senior economics correspondent for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Infrastructure Australia says the focus in Sydney and Melbourne has changed to building up existing suburbs.




HOW the real Numbers of Migrants are concealed behind Bridging Visas

Last year, the Morrison Government announced that it would cut Australia’s non-humanitarian permanent migrant intake by 20,000 to 160,000, in order to “relieve congestion in the cities”.


WHY NOM has continued to rise with said lower permanent migration to 160,000 is because:

-the govt shunted migrants onto bridging visas for those waiting on decisions on their permanent residency applications

the number of bridging visas has ballooned from 107,000 in March 2014 to 230,000 as at March 2019 – an increase of 123,000

-what is chaotic is Australia’s immigration system is running at triple the historical average

-hence chronic infrastructure bottlenecks, more expensive and lower quality housing, environmental degradation, and lowest wages growth

SOLUTION: Instead of manipulating the migration figures with transitional bridging visas cut back the intake to historical levels of 70,000 p.a. … and stop with the temp. visa manipulation of 2.2 Million Visa Holders in Australia at any point in time … many seeking Permanent Residency!


Morrison Government conceals migrant stampede behind bridging visas

By Unconventional Economist in Australian Economy

August 9, 2019 | 32 comments

Last year, the Morrison Government announced that it would cut Australia’s non-humanitarian permanent migrant intake by 20,000 to 160,000, in order to “relieve congestion in the cities”.

From the outset, MB labelled this a ‘fake cut’, based on the fact that both temporary migration and net overseas migration (NOM) continues to increase, as illustrated in the next chart:

The dishonesty of this immigration cut was further revealed in the April Federal Budget, which projected rising NOM over the forward estimates, as illustrated in the next table:

In a similar vein, the Federal Budget projected massive population increases of around 600,000 (NSW) and 650,000 (VIC) over the forward estimates, with the lion’s share of this growth to go to Sydney and Melbourne:

Therefore, the Morrison Government’s own projections are for immigration to increase and for congestion to get much worse in the cities.

*One of the reasons why NOM has continued to rise in the face of lower permanent migration is because the Morrison Government has shunted migrants onto bridging visas, which are given to those awaiting decisions on their applications for permanent residency.

*As shown in the next chart, the number of bridging visas on issue has ballooned from 107,000 in March 2014 to 230,000 as at March 2019 – an increase of 123,000:

Indeed, researchers from ANU and Western Sydney University this week questioned the Coalition’s fake immigration cut via bridging visas:

As of March 31, there were 229,242 people in Australia who held a bridging visa, the highest-ever figure in Australian history. A significant portion of bridging visa applicants are skilled and family migrants, often partners of Australian permanent residents and citizens…

They meet all the legal criteria for migration and are simply waiting for their applications to be processed by the Department of Home Affairs. For example, while there were 28,000 applicants for onshore asylum visas in 2017-18, there were more than 125,000 people holding a bridging visa and waiting for their permanent visa application to be finalised…

Perhaps the primary reason for the so-called “blowout” in bridging visas – as quoted in an ABC article – is simply because more legitimate applications for skilled and family migration are now made in Australia and waiting times for visa processing have increased.

Compare permanent partner visas in 2009-10 and 2017-18. There were about 53,000 applicants for partner visas in 2009-10. And there were 27,000 people waiting in the queue in June 2010.

Eight years later, there were 54,000 applicants for partner visas, but with fewer places available (39,800) and more than 80,000 people waiting in the queue…

A consequence of under-resourcing in the Department of Home Affairs is that the time migrants spend living on bridging visas is increasing as the time taken to process a visa application grows.

Jonathan Granger, director of Granger Australia and a former national president of the Migration Institute of Australia, has described the migration program as “chaotic”, as evidenced by the blow-out in bridging visas:

“The resources available to the department are limited every year by Government, and yet Government rolls out reform agendas that are not well thought through, that require transitional arrangements and require multiple layers of processing against regulations in the same visa areas,” he said.

“The result of those things is significant delays”..

Mr Granger said the program changes and lack of resources meant there were growing numbers of visa refusals that ended up at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

*The most “chaotic” thing about Australia’s immigration system is not bridging visas, but its sheer size, which is running at roughly triple the historical average:

*This is unambiguously creating all manner of problems from chronic infrastructure bottlenecks, to more expensive (and lower quality) housing, environmental degradation, and crushed wages growth.

Instead of manipulating the migration figures with transitional bridging visas, the Morrison Government needs to follow the wishes of the electorate and halve the intake back to historical levels.

Image result for PHOTO THE CONVERSATION Living on a bridging visa is a form of migration limbo as the Department of Home Affairs does not disclose how long any individual case may take to process. Mick Tsikas/AAP Most migrants on bridging visas aren’t ‘scammers’, they’re well within their right





ABC Photo: Cracked concrete at Springwood High School, Faulconbridge NSW

Exposed wiring at Sandringham College, Victoria



FROM orchestra pits, World-class boarding and dining, rooftop amphitheatre and subterranean sports facility to ripped carpets and leaking roofs

-with a sample public school in Parramatta 50% enrolment growth since 2013

(A consequence of the population growth through high immigration and real estate investment from overseas buyers)

-10 toilets for more than 500 students

-4 X as many demountables as permanent classrooms; no upgrades planned

Explosion of enrolments since 2013; half of $22B spent on capital projects between 2013 – 17 spent on 10% of schools; that teach fewer than 30% of students in richest schools

-the Australian Education Union calls on Federal Government to establish a capital fund for public schools; 2012 Gonski Review

-increased public funding has allowed many private schools to amass funds for capital expenditure from private sources as they receive recurrent funding from the govt

-recurrent public funding to private schools topped $14B in 2017

.the amount allocated to capital programs is often equivalent to recurrent Govt funding

-the gap exacerbated by govt policies that increased public funding to public schools by less than 3% between 2009 and 2017

.compared to 56% for the most advantaged private schools

 “And we wonder why Australia is slipping behind… That money would be far better spent at the struggling end of the [socio-economic] scale because that’s where we will lift results.”

-2017 38% of total spending on school infrastructure in public schools; far below the sector’s 66% share of enrolments

THE online ABC News survey revealed the most common needs for public schools:

-general classrooms

-toilets the most urgent maintenance problem, plumbing, painting and roofs

-technology and computer equipment most common urgent upgrade followed by heating or air conditioning and sporting facilities

ABS figures biggest enrolment burden fallen to public schools; with 76% of growth to 2018

-$100s of Millions spent on new schools that otherwise would have been available for school maintenance

(A consequence of the population growth through high immigration and real estate investment from overseas buyers)

Debris from a collapsed section of the ceiling cordoned off at Wales Street Primary School in Thornbury, Victoria

Rich school, poor school: Australia’s great education divide

By Inga TingAlex Palmer and Nathanael Scott

Updated 13 Aug 2019

From orchestra pits and on-site baristas to ripped carpets and leaking roofs, this is the “infrastructure arms race” between Australia’s schools.

These 8,500 schools are ranked from highest to lowest on the income ladder, according to their average yearly income between 2013 and 2017.

Circles are sized by total spend on new facilities and renovations in that period. Bigger circle=Bigger capital expenditure Catholic Independent Government $50m $0.5m $100m $8m

THE RICHEST 1%INCOME$105,000,000$100,000,000$95,000,000$90,000,000$85,000,000$80,000,000$75,000,000$70,000,000$65,000,000$60,000,000$55,000,000$50,000,000$45,000,000$40,000,000$35,000,000$30,000,000$25,000,000$20,000,000$15,000,000$10,000,000$5,000,000$0

Wesley College, VIC
Income $104.6m
Cap. exp. $96.7m
Cap. exp. govt. $30,747

Extensive redevelopment includes a $21m music school, $16m boarding facility and $2.3m visual arts and design precinct. Currently fundraising for $2.5m refurbishment of Wesley Boathouse.

Haileybury College, VIC
Income $98.1m
Cap. exp. $103.5m
Cap. exp. govt. $455,466

New campus Haileybury City features an indoor sports facility, a dedicated floor for music, art and drama and two terrace gardens. Classrooms with floor to ceiling windows offer 180-degree views of the city.

Caulfield Grammar, VIC
Income $95.1m
Cap. exp. $101.8m
Cap. exp. govt. $577,709

Fundraising for a new aquatic centre, featuring an Olympic-sized pool with moveable floors and walls, and wellbeing spaces for dance, pilates, meditation and yoga.

Knox Grammar, NSW
Income $83.8m
Cap. exp. $100.1m
Cap. exp. govt. $458,151

$47m performing arts centre includes 750-seat auditorium with adjustable orchestra pit and 160-seat intimate performance space. Senior academy features a cafe with on-site barista. 

Enrolments grew 30% between 2013 and 2018.

Australia’s four richest schools spent more on new facilities and renovations than the poorest 1,800 schools combined.

Wesley College, Haileybury College and Caulfield Grammar in Melbourne, together with Knox Grammar in Sydney, spent $402 million. They teach fewer than 13,000 students.

The poorest 1,800 schools spent less than $370 million. They teach 107,000 students.

Melbourne Grammar School, VIC
Income $69.6m
Cap. exp. $61m
Cap. exp. govt. $14,101

$30m science and technology hub features a rooftop terrace with a weather monitoring station.

Pymble Ladies’ College, NSW
Income $67.4m
Cap. exp. $67.7m
Cap. exp. govt. $420,633

$34m Centenary Sports Precinct features 50m eight-lane pool with multiple diving platforms, fitness centre, learn-to-swim pool and remedial treatment rooms.

Scotch College, VIC
Income $58m
Cap. exp. $70.1m
Cap. exp. govt. $14,569

$32m Sir Zelman Cowen Centre for Science includes a rooftop learning area, 200-seat presentation space and “experiential laboratory”.

SHORE – Sydney Church of England Grammar School, NSW
Income $55.2m
Cap. exp. $50.5m
Cap. exp. govt. $340,895

$52m Shore Physical Education Centre — the largest building project in the school’s history — due in 2020. Includes 11 learning spaces and seminar rooms, a 50m indoor pool and a multi-purpose sports complex.

St Kevin’s College, VIC
Income $48.3m
Cap. exp. $40.9m
Cap. exp. govt. $347,173

The 5.5 hectare Tooronga Fields — “the largest privately-owned sporting facility in Australasia” — includes three FIFA-regulation soccer pitches, an AFL field, 12 cricket nets, 12 tennis courts and an athletics track.

Hale School, WA
Income $45.8m
Cap. exp. $34.9m
Cap. exp. govt. $467,740

Completed $16m Junior School redevelopment in 2018 and aquatic centre in 2014. Existing facilities include 2 pools, 2 gymnasiums, indoor climbing wall, 18 tennis courts and 5 cricket grounds with turf wickets.

Camberwell Grammar School, VIC
Income $39.4m
Cap. exp. $73m
Cap. exp. govt. $293,499

$45m sports and aquatic facility, 200-seat chapel and function centre completed 2016.

All Hallows’ School, QLD
Income $37.0m
Cap. exp. $55.9m
Cap. exp. govt. $2.3m

Opened $7.7m, five-storey ‘Mary Place’ in 2015. Includes 15 classrooms, enclosed courtyard and new tennis/netball court.Somerville House, QLD
Income $35.5m
Cap. exp. $52.8m
Cap. exp. govt. $2m

Master Plan includes “The Annex” building, offering world-class boarding and dining, an extension of the artistic gymnastics facility, a School Art Gallery and Museum, and expansion of the auditorium from 980 to 1,500 seats.

The richest 1% of schools spent $3 billion. The poorest 50% spent $2.6 billion combined.

The poorest 50% of schools teach nearly five times as many students.

St Aloysius’ College, NSW
Income $31.4m
Cap. exp. $21.1m
Cap. exp. govt. $160,300

Seeking approval for an $80m “revitalisation” of its three campuses, including a new learning precinct with rooftop amphitheatre and subterranean sports facility.

Brisbane State High School, QLD
Income $31m
Cap. exp. $47m
Cap. exp. govt. $46.8m

Enrolments grew 35% between 2013 and 2018. Added 40 new classrooms in 2016 as part of a $35m redevelopment to address overcrowding. By 2017, overcrowding was again an issue.

Willetton Senior High School, WA
Income $28.2m
Cap. exp. $52.3m
Cap. exp. govt. $52.3m

Six public schools in Australia spent more than $50m on capital works. All were part of the WA government’s plan to help public schools meet forecast enrolment growth.

Willetton’s $52m redevelopment included new buildings for art, media, textiles, science and technology. The original buildings were constructed in the 1970s.

Lourdes Hill College, QLD
Income $21.6m
Cap. exp. $32.9m
Cap. exp. govt. $2.9m

$20m “Bernadette Centre” houses a sports centre, 200-seat chapel, 600-seat theatre, science labs, drama workshops, music rooms, classrooms and rooftop play area overlooking Brisbane River and CBD.

Trinity Catholic College, NSW
Income $19.6m
Cap. exp. $2.9m
Cap. exp. govt. $352,153

Received $2.75m federal grant in 2019 for new facilities, including an art annex and staff office, and refurbishment of gymnasium and art studio. Enrolments fell by 3% between 2013 and 2018.

Arthur Phillip High School, Parramatta Public School NSW
$325m redevelopment of Parramatta Public and Arthur Phillip High School sites is the state’s largest public school infrastructure project. New high school for 2,000 students will be NSW’s first high-rise public school.

South Coast Baptist College, WA
Income $11m
Cap. exp. $7m
Cap. exp. govt. $873,707
Enrolments grew 65% between 2013 and 2018. Received $1.5m federal grant in 2018 for construction of 3 science laboratories, STEM studio, materials technology studios, planning studio and machine rooms.

Marist Catholic College Penshurst, NSW
Income $10.3m
Cap. exp. $36.4m
Cap. exp. govt. $5.5m
Opened La Valla Learning Centre in 2016, featuring 12 classrooms, a library and tuition rooms. Other projects include a new admin building, theatrette, and music and drama spaces. Received $3.5m federal government grant in 2018. Constructing a second campus to cope with enrolments.

St Martins Lutheran College, SA
Income $8.3m
Cap. exp. $4.1m
Cap. exp. govt. $890,649
Opened two new classrooms and a new Middle School building in 2018. Received $941k federal grant in 2019 for a new two-storey building with a food and hospitality centre, art rooms and exhibition space.

Wales Street Primary School, VIC
Income $5.6m
Cap. exp. $450,536
Cap. exp. govt. $428,268
Overcrowding and infrastructure issues included leaking roofs, a school hall that accommodates only half the students, and non-compliant toilets, wiring and plumbing. Received $4.1m in the 2019-20 State Budget for an upgrade.

Parramatta East Public School, NSW
Income $4.0m
Cap. exp. $272,298
Cap. exp. govt. $214,034
50% enrolment growth since 2013. Has 10 toilets for more than 500 students and 4 times as many demountables as permanent classrooms. No upgrades planned.

Sheidow Park Primary School, SA
Income $2.8m
Cap. exp. $25,005
Cap. exp. govt. $0
No new buildings or renovations since the Rudd government’s post-GFC school building program.

At the end of each school year, Sheidow Park Primary School principal Jennie-Marie Gorman takes a walk around the school with the finance officer and the groundsman.

They pass windows held together by safety screens. They inspect the playgrounds built 20 years ago. They note the walls that haven’t been painted in 15 years.

And they look again at the patch of exposed concrete in the front office, where the finance officer’s swivel chair has worn a hole in the carpet. That hole will be fixed in about five years, if all goes to schedule.

“We have a plan to carpet two to three classrooms a year, based on need, so the ones with the biggest holes in them or the biggest rips get replaced first,” Ms Gorman says.

“We also need new carpet in the office but we look at what the children need first and we put ourselves at the end of the line — which is just normal teacher stuff. That’s just how we operate.”

Sheidow Park Primary is one of more than 1,300 schools across Australia that spent less than $100,000 on new facilities and renovations while the nation’s four richest schools spent roughly $100 million — each.

An ABC News investigation has revealed for the first time the gaping divide that separates the capital expenditure of Australia’s richest and poorest schools.

It is based on school finance figures from the My School website — a dataset so tightly held that in the decade since its creation, it has only been released to a handful of researchers under strict conditions. Independently compiled by ABC News, it provides a more detailed picture of school income and expenditure than any publicly available data.

*The investigation, which encompasses more than 8,500 schools teaching 96 per cent of students, reveals:

  • Half of the $22 billion spent on capital projects in Australian schools between 2013 and 2017 was spent in just 10 per cent of schools
  • These schools teach fewer than 30 per cent of students and are the country’s richest, ranked by average annual income from all sources (federal and state government funding, fees and other private funding) over the five-year period.
  • They also reaped 28 per cent (or $2.4 billion) of the $8.6 billion in capital spending funded by government.

University of Sydney associate professor Helen Proctor described the figures as “extraordinary”.

Cracked concrete at Springwood High School in Faulconbridge, NSW Supplied

Debris from a collapsed section of the ceiling is cordoned off at Wales Street Primary School in Thornbury, Victoria Supplied

The facilities at some of Australia’s public schools.

*“Certainly the public investment in private schools, and the public investment in the wealthiest schools, is a factor,” she said.

*“They have that security of their operating costs being heavily subsidised — or, for some schools, completely covered — so they can use other money for their building projects.”

Sheidow Park Primary School spent $25,005 over the five-year period. It received no capital funding from government.

“The school has never had lots of money and principals have had to be very careful with what they’ve done,” Ms Gorman says.

“The learning that’s happening is great, we just don’t look as shiny as everywhere else’.”

The $52m Shore Physical Education Centre at SHORE – Sydney Church of England Grammar School in North Sydney is the largest building project in the school’s history. SHORE

The $21m music school at Melbourne’s Wesley College. Cox Architecture

Pymble Ladies’ College on Sydney’s north shore is building a $34m Centenary Sports Precinct. Pymble Ladies’ College

Knox Grammar in Wahroonga, NSW, opened its $47m performing arts centre in June 2019.Taylor

New or proposed facilities at some of Australia’s high-fee private schools.

Sheidow Park Primary is a public school 20km south of Adelaide. Its sits among the poorest 20 per cent of schools on the income ladder.

Despite soaring enrolments — student numbers have nearly doubled since 2013 — the last major capital project at Sheidow Park was a gymnasium completed in 2011 as part of the Rudd government’s school building program, known as Building the Education Revolution.

*“At the end of the year, when we walk around the school, it’s not: ‘This needs fixing, so we’ll fix it’. It’s always… ‘What’s the worst of the worst?’” Ms Gorman says.

“It’s tricky because you don’t want to be the poor neighbour down the road. You want to put your best foot forward… But I guess it’s the inequity that annoys me the most.”

*You don’t have to look far to find that inequity. About half an hour’s drive north is Saint Ignatius’ College in Athelstone, a Catholic school among the richest 10 per cent in Australia.

*It spent just over $30 million on capital projects (including $124,000 from the federal government) in the same period Sheidow Park spent $25,005.

Enrolments at Saint Ignatius’ shrunk by roughly five per cent over that period.

Capital funding: A complex system

Capital funding is considered separate to recurrent funding, which covers the ongoing costs of running a school. Recurrent funding cannot be spent on capital projects.

*Part of the problem with the current system, according to critics, is that private schools have two public sources of capital funding — the Commonwealth and the states — whereas public schools only receive capital funding from state governments.

*So far in 2019, the Commonwealth Capital Grants Program has allocated more than $146 million to fewer than 140 non-government schools.

*According to the Federal Government, the CGP is “to improve the infrastructure in [non-government] schools that do not have enough capital resources.”

*However, the Australian Education Union has previously drawn attention to projects in wealthy private schools that do not appear to meet this criteria.

*It is calling on the Federal Government to establish a Commonwealth capital fund for public schools, in line with the recommendations of the 2012 Gonski review.

But while the debate over capital grants rages, numerous education researchers point to a far larger source of public money as the real problem.

Are taxpayers funds making the system more unequal?

*Some education experts believe increased public funding has allowed many private schools to amass funds for capital expenditure from private sources.

“I’m not at all surprised to see some well-off private schools at the top of the list for capital spend. Parents and others are of course welcome to fundraise for the schools they support,” said the Grattan Institute’s school education program director Peter Goss.

*“But every one of those schools also receives substantial recurrent funding from the Australian Government and it’s legitimate to ask whether taxpayer funding is contributing to making our education system even more unequal.

Embed: Public funding to private schools has risen twice as fast as to public schools

*Over the past decade, public funding to private schools has risen nearly twice as fast as public funding to public schools, according to the latest figures from the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, which runs the My School website. Recurrent public funding to private schools topped $14 billion in 2017.

*University of Melbourne professor Barry McGaw, former chair of the ACARA board, said the data now available on the My School website “open up a whole set of questions we’ve not been able to ask before”.

“The Federal Government had much of this information but it had never been made public before,” he said.

“And now you can see how little gets spent on government schools compared to non-government schools.”

The My School website shows the annual income and capital expenditure for individual schools, including the amount of income the school has allocated to current and future capital projects, and debt servicing.

*In some large non-government schools, the amount allocated to capital programs is “often pretty much equivalent” to the amount of recurrent funding provided by government, Professor McGaw told the ABC.

He said the figures show how much schools are “liberated to transfer to capital works”, even though they may argue the money is sourced from parents.

*“That’s one of the reasons you’re seeing such massive building programs going on.”

At scores of private schools around the country — the vast majority in the independent sector — the amount allocated to capital projects was worth a substantial share of (or even exceeded) their recurrent government funding.

Among the schools are:

  • Caulfield Grammar, Vic: recurrent funding: $74.7m; capital allocation: $83.8m
  • Hale School, WA: recurrent funding: $42.3m; capital allocation: $45.6m
  • Canberra Grammar, ACT: recurrent funding: $30.5m; capital allocation: $33.9m
  • Loreto Normanhurst, NSW: recurrent funding $34.3m, capital allocation: $33.3m

Embed: At scores of private schools, the income allocated to capital projects was worth a large chunk of their recurrent public funding

*“You can’t stop [schools raising funds privately]… but you can see that they are certainly receiving much more money than they need to spend on their recurrent operations — as evidenced by the fact they can pass [so much money] out to capital works,” McGaw said.

*“And they never lower their fees. The more government gives, the fees never go down.”

In 2017, the most advantaged public schools (top 20 per cent, ranked by socio-educational advantage) operated on roughly half the total income of their private school peers, down from two-thirds in 2009, analysis of My School data shows.

**The gap has been exacerbated by government policies that increased public funding to these public schools by less than 3 per cent between 2009 and 2017, compared to 56 per cent for the most advantaged private schools.

*And yet that extra money has not produced higher-achieving students, according to Chris Bonnor, a fellow of the Centre for Policy Development.

“The results [from highly-funded private schools] are no better than those coming out of government schools where there are similar students. So a lot of money is going in for a very, very poor return to government,” he said.

*“And we wonder why Australia is slipping behind… That money would be far better spent at the struggling end of the [socio-economic] scale because that’s where we will lift results.”

‘Astounding’ lack of transparency

*Adrian Piccoli, director of UNSW’s Gonski Institute for Education and NSW education minister from 2011 until 2017, said the way government funding was distributed to private schools meant “there is the ability to shift money from recurrent to capital”.

*“I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if that happens… It’s very hard — and I say this as a former minister — to see what non-government schools spend their money on,” he said.

*“I was always astounded that we [the NSW government] gave the Catholic system $800 million a year and, basically, they filled out a one-page form to verify that they’d spent the money appropriately.”

Embed: Half of independent schools spent more than $3.9m between 2013 and 2017

With recurrent funding, the authorities (known as Block Grant Authorities) that administer public funding on behalf of Catholic and independent schools can choose to redistribute these funds to individual schools according to their own needs-based formulas.

*“The public do have a right to know where public money is going and why” but in the Catholic system, for example, there’s very little transparency about how the funds are split between dioceses and schools, and then how individual schools are spending their share, Professor Piccoli said.

“And until we know that in any kind of detail, you can’t be confident they’re not using it for capital.”

Four separate reports in the past four years — the Victorian auditor-general in 2016, the National Audit Office in 2017, the NSW auditor-general in 2018, and the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit in 2019— have each raised concerns about this lack of transparency.

However, both the National Catholic Education Commission and Independent Schools Council of Australia said there were tight accountability requirements in place to ensure non-government schools complied with the directive that recurrent funding must be spent on the day-to-day costs of education.

“The Minister approves and is well aware of exactly which schools are receiving capital funding,” an NCEC spokesperson said.

“Each school that receives capital funding must spend it on the project as defined in their applications… BGAs are subject to strong internal governance and are highly accountable as governments must ratify every project.”

The spokesperson said each BGA is permitted by capital funding guidelines to deduct three per cent of grants for administration costs.

An Independent Schools Council of Australia spokesman said BGAs ensure applications meet the criteria for Commonwealth capital grants and each year approved projects are published on the Department of Education website.

“The program is, in fact, quite transparent,” he said. “It is not clear how this process could lead to schools having the ability to shift money from recurrent to capital funding.”

Winners and losers in an ‘infrastructure arms race’

The chart below shows the distribution of schools on the expenditure ladder, from largest spend (at the top) to smallest spend. It reveals dramatic differences between the sectors at all levels of spending.

Embed: More than half of public schools spent less than $500K, compared with less than 18 per cent of independent schools

One in three public schools spent less than $250,000, compared with one in eight private schools.

At the opposite end of the scale, 11 per cent of independent schools (or one in 10) spent more than $20 million over the five-year period, compared with just over half a per cent of public schools and less than 3 per cent of Catholic schools.

Both the Catholic and independent school authorities emphasised that the vast majority of capital spending in non-government schools — 92 per cent in independent schools and 85 per cent in Catholic schools — is funded privately, mostly by fees and school loans.

This figure is higher for the richest schools. Among the four highest-income schools, for example (Melbourne’s Wesley College, Haileybury College, Caulfield Grammar and Knox Grammar) “more than 99 per cent of capital expenditure was raised privately, and a significant portion of that is from loans,” a spokesman for the Independent Schools Council said.

“Government capital funding is almost non-existent.”

I’m not sure people out there understand how little money schools get and how clever and creative people in schools have to be to make their funds… It is almost impossible to get capital grants money.Principal, public schoolSouth west Melbourne1 / 19NEXT QUOTE

However, education researchers point out that, overall, public funds still make up a significant portion of capital funding to private schools — on average, 15 per cent for Catholic schools and 8 per cent for independent schools.

And more importantly, the proportion is small because the total capital outlay is enormous.

At Melbourne’s Caulfield Grammar, for example — the nation’s second-biggest spender — capital expenditure topped $101 million between 2013 and 2017. The government contributed $577,709 or just over 0.5 per cent.

*“If that came to us, we wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves,” Sheidow Park Primary’s Ms Gorman says.

“We could have everything spick and span and shiny in one hit, rather than having to do it bit by bit. We could replace the carpets in the office as well as the classrooms … We’d be able to get all our painting done, the playground, the carpets.

“It would be amazing.”

Grattan’s Peter Goss said competition for enrolments meant many elite private schools were locked in an “infrastructure arms race”.

“Parents spend a lot of money to send their kids to elite non-government schools. They want to choose the best one but it’s very hard to judge which school will deliver the best educational outcomes,” he said.

“Shiny buildings and great facilities — and the extra-curricular opportunities that those facilities can bring — probably then become a proxy for a quality education.

“It’s a game government schools can’t play in the same way. But we shouldn’t want them to because, in purely educational terms, it’s not an effective way to spend taxpayers’ money.”

Embed: In 2017 independent schools spent four times as much as public schools

**In 2017, only 38 per cent of total spending on school infrastructure was in public schools — far below the sector’s 66 per cent share of enrolments.

*Measuring expenditure another way — by capital spend per student — shows independent schools spent four times as much on capital works as public schools and nearly twice as much as Catholic schools in 2017.

“It’s easy to focus on the fancy theatres, the Olympic-sized swimming pools or richly-carpeted libraries in certain high-fee, non-government schools,” Goss said.

*“What’s far more important in the grand scheme of things is that some schools in Australia don’t have all the basic facilities they need, especially in areas where population is booming.

“And the vast majority of those are government schools.”

How does your school compare?

Enter your school to see its income and expenditure.

Use the slider below to see the change over time. (Tip: It’s changed a lot since 2011)Enter your schoolCapital expenditureIncome per studentTotalGovt.

+Leaflet | © OpenStreetMap contributors © CARTOPublicIndependentCatholic$5m$8m>$13m2011201220132014201520162017

  • Total income includes federal and state/territory recurrent funding, fees, charges and parent contributions, and income from private sources
  • Government funding includes only federal and state/territory recurrent funding
  • Total capital expenditure includes federal and state/territory capital expenditure, new school loans, income allocated to current capital projects and “other” capital expenditure (primarily income retained from previous years)
  • Government capital expenditure only includes capital expenditure funded by federal and state/territory governments

‘Trying to buy the bare essentials’

*An online ABC News survey about capital funding needs in Australian schools received dozens of responses from government schools needing new buildings or major upgrades, or facing urgent maintenance issues.

The survey was open to all members of the public between November 2018 and May 2019.

*The most commonly-needed buildings were general classrooms. Toilets were the most urgent maintenance problem, followed by plumbing, painting and roofs.

*Technology and computer equipment was the most commonly-needed urgent upgrade, followed by heating or air conditioning and sporting facilities.

The survey also revealed dozens of schools fundraising for basic educational needs such as program resources or classroom equipment.

*Simon Bailey, chair of the Lauderdale Primary School Association, said fundraising at the school — one of Tasmania’s “priority one” schools for capital works — was only “scratching the surface” of what the school needed.

*“We’re just trying to buy the bare essentials. We’re putting money into buying smartboards, we’ve put money into play equipment We lost half the library last year because it was turned into a classroom,” he told the ABC.

*“We have put in submissions for capital infrastructure grants three years in a row and received nothing only minor upgrades.”

*‘Astounding’ data exposes the myth of the ‘education revolution’Thousands of public schools receive less public funding than similar private schools, an ABC News investigation has found.

*Sheidow Park Primary and Lauderdale Primary — where enrolments have grown more than 20 per cent since 2013 — are among thousands of schools feeling the pressure of booming enrolments.

This is critical context when it comes to capital spending, Goss said.

“Schools with growing enrolments need to invest in infrastructure. That’s fine and appropriate. For example, if a school is spending money on opening new campuses, that’s arguably necessary capital investment rather than ‘gold-plating’,” he said.

*However, the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the biggest enrolment burden has fallen to public schools, which shouldered 76 per cent of Australia’s enrolment growth in the five years to 2018.

In an effort to tackle the dual challenges of old and outdated infrastructure, and overcrowding, the Queensland, NSW and Victorian state governments have all announced “record” investment in school infrastructure in their 2019-20 state budgets.

**But the problem for public schools, according to UNSW’s Professor Piccoli, is that governments must prioritise building new schools and classrooms “ahead of fixing roofs or replacing demountables”.

**“They’ve just got to have seats for kids… They’re trying to do both at the same time but that’s huge amounts of money, hundreds of millions, being spent on new schools that otherwise would have been available to spend on maintenance,” he said.

*Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the federal government was providing “record recurrent funding of $310.3 billion [over 10 years] to all schools”.

“Each state and territory government is the operator of its state school education system and as its majority funders they are responsible for capital spending on their schools,” he said.

“State and territory governments have discretion to use Australian Government funding provided under the [Australian Education] Act for capital purposes.”

The Independent Schools Council spokesman said non-government schools receive recurrent funding “due to the shared view of successive Australian Governments that each child is entitled to a government contribution to the cost of their education”.

He said the base funding entitlement was moderated by the use of socio-economic status scores, which meant that students in high SES schools received the minimum entitlement while those in low SES schools received a higher entitlement.

*Emma Rowe, a senior lecturer in education at Deakin University, described the spending gap between schools as “quite disturbing”.

*“We’re really going back to the industrial era in terms of how much what your parents earn will determine your life pathway,” she said.

*“And I think parents must know this, which is why they’re willing to put so much money towards certain schools.”

  • School finance data was compiled from the My School website by ABC News. It was not supplied by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority.
  • The analysis excludes schools in very remote locations, special schools and schools with no “advantage” score, since these schools tend to teach students with the highest learning needs and have different capital requirements. (A school’s “advantage” is measured by its score on the Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage, which allows comparison of the level of educational advantage or disadvantage students bring to their academic studies. It doesn’t consider income or wealth.)
  • A school’s capital expenditure can vary dramatically year to year, since schools may save for a number of years before a major building project. The Building the Education Revolution program, which was funded from 2008-09 until 2011-12, also distorted spending patterns, making it difficult to analyse capital expenditure. For these reasons, this analysis examines total capital expenditure from 2013 to 2017, the latest available data.
  • This analysis focuses on capital expenditure for individual schools and sectors, which aligns with ACARA’s reports and the My School website. It means larger schools are more likely to appear at the top of the ladder for both income and spending. The Independent Schools Council of Australia prefers to compare sectors on the basis of enrolments. As demonstrated in the story, the overall trends remain the same whether comparing by school or per student.
  • The My School finance data provides comparable income and expenditure data across individual schools. Detailed information about the methodology and limitations can be found on the My School website, under “Technical and statistical information”.


ABC Photo: $52M ‘Shore’ physical education centre





Hundreds of schools in Sydney are full or overflowing with students. (AAP)

Hundreds of schools in Sydney are full or overflowing with students. (AAP) (AAP)

SURPRISINGLY Ryde LGA is not included in the map of schools ‘with no capacity’ … perhaps an accident of prior planning … but for how long with so many high-rise Precincts, many still under construction, and the threat of more blocks of flats, terraces and townhouses!

MEANWHILE the NSW Grubmnt is ‘transferring Marsden High School – which has the capacity to accommodate more students to the ‘Meadowbank Education Precinct’

… WHY? Cough … cough …

next to the TAFE and on the site of the old Meadowbank High School closed in the early 1980s.

MARSDEN High School is currently located only 500M away from the 10,000 MELROSE PARK Precinct (CAAN Photo Album under construction) which was formerly the Putt Putt site.

Marsden High should not be closed because the new school at Meadowbank will reach its capacity of 2500 students on opening!

The local Ryde MP has advised that Parramatta Council will receive significant development contributions and rates in exchange for the massive Melrose Park development … WT *! To go towards improving local parks and amenity …

… the COMMUNITY lost the amenity of the mini golf at Putt Putt … a very popular playground for children!

AND … the proposal for morning and afternoon schooling … How much more chaotic and expensive will life be in Sh.t.n.y? For the benefit of those ‘ol b.s.t.rds in their Harbourside counting houses and their overseas customers …

Sydney schools shuffle deck chairs on population Titanic

By Unconventional Economist in Australian Economy

August 12, 2019 | 12 comments

Over the past few years, the New South Wales Government has come up with a range of policy band aids to overcome overcrowding at schools, which are at “breaking point”;

NSW Education enrolment data for 2018, released to 9 News under freedom of information laws, reveals 636 schools in NSW have between 100 percent to 150 per cent of student places filled.

That’s the equivalent to almost a third (31 percent) of all public schools in NSW – or an even greater proportion of those in Greater Sydney.

Despite school ovals, carparks and play areas being filled with demountables and temporary classrooms set up in halls, libraries and gymnasiums, there are more kids than official places in many suburbs of Sydney…

Schools across Sydney’s west, east, north and south dominate the list of the most densely-packed classrooms…

The Government has mulled implementing double shifts:

Education Minister Rob Stokes says he is open to trialling separate morning and afternoon schools  in NSW to reduce traffic peaks and address the enrolment boom.

“Effectively having double schools by having morning and afternoon schools is one option, it’s already being done in some countries,” Mr Stokes said…

An artist's impressions for a new 14-storey high school in Surry Hills.

An artist’s impressions for a new 14-storey high school in Surry Hills.

The Government is building high-rise schools, which are already over-enrolled:

The opening of the 14-storey school in 2020 has been highly anticipated, but parents in inner southern suburbs such as Redfern and Darlington had their hopes dashed when the catchment, announced last week, stopped at Cleveland Street.

An artist impression of the new Inner Sydney High School.

An artist impression of the new Inner Sydney High School.

And now the Government has announced that it will crack-down on out-of-area enrolments:

There are fears an out-of-area crackdown by the NSW Department of Education might cause siblings to be refused places in schools.

There are fears an out-of-area crackdown by the NSW Department of Education might cause siblings to be refused places in schools.CREDIT:GABRIELE CHAROTTE

School shopping in Sydney will become harder due to a major crackdown on out-of-area enrolments by the NSW Department of Education.

Under the changes, every principal will be given a student population limit based on the number of permanent buildings at their school, and will not be given demountables if they exceed their student cap due to out-of-area enrolments.

The tough new approach will reduce families’ options if their preferred out-of-area schools are over, or close to, a reduced student cap, and has prompted fears that some schools will not be able to accept the younger siblings of non-local students.

Fiddling with the enrolment boundaries won’t fix this mess.


In 2016, the Grattan Institute estimated that NSW would need 213 new schools by 2026 to cope with a projected 175,000 (14%) surge in students:

Moreover, this schools requirement is only the tip of the iceberg given the ABS’ latest medium (Panel B) population projections have Sydney’s population ballooning by 94,000 people a year to 9.7 million people by 2066 driven entirely by mass immigration:

Remember, Infrastructure Australia’s modelling shows that access to schools let alone hospitals, jobs, roads and green space will all decline as Sydney’s population balloons to a projected 7.4 million people by 2046 (let alone 9.7 million people by 2066, as projected by the ABS), irrespective of how Sydney builds-out:

All of this, yet again, highlights the dysfunctional ‘Big Australia’ policy in action.

*There is no way to fix or build enough schools fast enough to keep pace with the projected 100,000 annual increase in Sydney’s population. What we are experiencing is a planned degradation of living standards to support the massive wealth accumulation of a few billionaires, like Highrise Harry and Gerry Harvey.




If we want liveable cities in 2060 we’ll have to work together to transform urban systems

  • If we want liveable cities in 2060 we’ll have to work together to transform urban systems

Density is important, but so is liveability. Photo: James Alcock The Conversation

AS the links are opened it appears there is an emphasis on ‘prosperity’ …

WHY is this so? AND where does it emanate from? Cough … cough …

‘DENSITY is important … but so is liveability’. Well, isn’t that an OXYMORON?

IT is evident that with the GROWTH agenda that Australia is rapidly undergoing densification for the prosperity of the harbourside housing class, and to become the mess of everywhere else …

HOWEVER, there is a better alternative …


If we want liveable cities in 2060 we’ll have to work together to transform urban systems


AUG 10, 2019

“Not everyone wants to live in the inner city and it’s insulting to describe the outer suburbs as the fringe.”

This was just one view from a recent workshop where a vision for Australia’s future cities was mapped out. It highlights that liveability means different things to different people.

But what will the liveability of our cities be like in 40 years’ time? For the CSIRO report, 2019 Australian National Outlook, the authors used scenario analysis to explore prospects for Australia in 2060. This demonstrates that business as usual will mean Australia’s economy and society sleepwalk into the future, a future made worse by failing to tackle major environmental threats.

The National Outlook report set out “five key shifts” – industry, urban, energy, land and culture – to prepare us for a better future.

Our research supports the need for these changes. These shifts are related and co-dependent. And, critically, they will all involve cities.

We argue, though, that we need more than “shifts” – we need transformation supported by a systems approach.

Setting the goals of transformation

All cities are not the same. For this reason, Future Earth Australia, a national initiative hosted by the Australian Academy of Science, has held workshops around the country. We have also launched a national online survey.

The themes arising from the workshops offer valuable insights into how we can apply a systems approach to transforming Australian cities, and the regions and local areas that support our cities. Some key insights are:

– Density is important, but so is liveability
– Liveability has a different emphasis for each person, but includes green space, access to services, employment and transport
– The consensus is that we must respond to climate change, through actions that both reduce the rate of change and adapt to it
– People both in cities and outside them want explicit attention paid to how urban areas and their hinterlands interact and depend on one another
– Economic regeneration and notions of a circular economy are seen as essential elements of a “transformed” city.

Importantly, the nuances and variations between cities and regions were important to identity and individuality. Local, context-relevant innovation abounds, but is combined with much re-inventing of wheels. Our process has shown that linking local activity better with city-wide and even national coordination could greatly accelerate progress, while maintaining the sense of local identity. A majority of the world’s countries are actively taking a national perspective on their urban challenges.

The importance of local nuance is recognised in other parts of the world. In Europe, work is under way to build better connections between small and medium-sized cities.

Wicked problems call for a systems approach

Urban transformation requires a systems approach to overcome well-documented challenges like urban expansion, decreasing housing affordability, biodiversity loss in peri-urban areas, spending hours in cars, and engaged governance across metropolitan areas. These challenges are tricky because they are caused by behaviours and settings that arise from entwined economic, social and environmental systems. Problems like this are wicked in nature.

A systems approach examines how communities, economics, culture, politics, infrastructure, design, planning, knowledge and technology interact and interweave to produce the places we live in. We must also recognise existing planetary boundaries.

Tackling these problems with a systems approach means ensuring that as we solve one of them we don’t create new problems in other areas. Or, even better, we solve multiple challenges at once. Responses must integrate bottom-up and top-down interventions across multiple sectors, consider time frames from today into the long term, and recognise the value in collaboratively forging the knowledge and actions we need.

This is why Future Earth Australia, the Australian and Oceania network of Future Earth based at the Australian Academy of Science, invited urban thinkers and practitioners from around Australia to a workshop in May 2018. It was designed to work towards a consensus on a ten-year plan for transformative knowledge for Australian cities. This workshop built on recent urban systems scholarship, which identified the need for multisectoral, collaborative and systemic thinking and collaborative design and governance.

We have implemented a series of processes to inform this decadal plan.

First, we interviewed senior decision-makers in government, industry and peak bodies.

We held nine workshops across the country. These involved over 350 participants, representing senior decision-makers in government, industry and peak bodies, community groups and academic researchers. The insights from the workshops have all been published.

And we have designed a survey that’s now open to anyone living in Australia.

An independent reference group of urban experts from 21 research, policy and practice organisations around the country is overseeing these processes.

Our aim is to encourage all stakeholders to work together. The Future Earth platform can enable partnerships that harness these ideas and knowledge about the transformations needed to create sustainable, liveable cities.

We need better urban knowledge and the many cross-sectoral contributions to the Future Earth urban decadal plan have offered vital directions for future effort.

Tayanah O’Donnell, Honorary Senior Lecturer, Australian National UniversityBob Webb, Honorary Associate Professor, ANU College of Science, Australian National UniversityChris Ryan, Professor and Director of Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of MelbourneEleanor Robson, Research and Policy Officer, Future Earth Australia; Jago Dodson, Professor of Urban Policy and Director, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, and Kate Auty, Professorial Fellow, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Image result for If we want liveable cities in 2060 we’ll have to work together to transform urban systems


AS they parade themselves as the ‘Elite’ … it’s not necessary to trawl … so much has surfaced …

With the Crown revelations … Party donor Ros must have choked on her cucumber sandwiches

… earlier Mike’s secret meeting with Charif Kazal … then the cutting off the head of ICAC

… Malcolm gave almost half a Billion of public money to business cronies … then Reefgate in 2018

… the Trumbulls friendship with Harry and high-rise … is it all about making ‘a pile’ out of ‘the others’?? …

Woolahra’s growth limited to 150 dwellings … why not a HT Tower or two for more PR Visas for Point Piper?,11772

Sydney’s wealthy elite are migrant NIMBYs

By Unconventional Economist in Australian Economy

August 5, 2019 | 17 comments

As we already know, Sydney is Australia’s primary entrant point for migrants:

And Western Sydney is the prime dumping ground for these migrants:

With Western Sydney also projected to receive the lion’s share future immigration-driven population growth – i.e. an additional 1.2 million people over the next 20 years, according to the Greater Sydney Commission:

Future Sydney residents are also projected to be squeezed into high-rise dog box apartments, according to projections from the Urban Development Institute of Australia:

Last month, the head of the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC), Lucy Turnbull, outlined an “exciting” future for Western Sydney, which involves being crush-loaded with another 1.2 million people:

Greater Sydney Commission Chief Commissioner Lucy Turnbull said the ‘latte line’ had to go.

Greater Sydney Commission Chief Commissioner Lucy Turnbull said the ‘latte line’ had to go. Source:News Corp Australia

GSC’s chief commissioner Lucy Turnbull… said places such as Parramatta and Bankstown represented the “future of Sydney and Australia” with a youthful and diverse population making them “exciting” corners of the wider city…. “1.2 million people in western Sydney in the next 20 years is a reasonable forecast”…

And this proclamation by Lucy Turnbull came despite new figures showing that Western Sydney is already suffering from severe disadvantage:

Western Sydney can seem a world away from the wealthier, eastern side of the city… “As much as we are strong advocates of western Sydney, we need to be realistic that too many times we are on the wrong side of that line. In terms of per capita lower incomes, below average NAPLAN results and school attendance, higher unemployment and higher rates of preventable disease and hospital admissions” [Christopher Brown, Chairman of the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue, said].

Western Sydney is the diabetes capital of the country,” he said. “There are also higher rates of domestic violence which is the shameful secret of western Sydney”.

Parramatta, in the foreground, is attempting to re-centre Sydney away from the current CBD, behind.

Parramatta, in the foreground, is attempting to re-centre Sydney away from the current CBD, behind.Source:News Corp Australia

But while Western Sydney is being crush-loaded by migrants, the wealthy elites in the city’s East have put up walls to keep the migrant riff-raff out:

The beautiful suburb that provides homes for many of the men and women who run the Australian economy is fighting for over-priced cherries, tomatoes and avocados…

Now Tony Abbott has been dispatched from public life, the Mosman peninsula on Sydney’s lower north shore has shifted focus. Not to the problems of low wages growth, housing affordability or Indigenous recognition.

But the horror of a Woolworths…

With the aid of a professional public relations firm, a local pressure group, Mosman Village Community, is leading a fight against a Woolworths outlet, which it argues will increase traffic and drive artisan shops broke. About 1500 residents have signed up for the campaign…

“This is one of the few remaining village-type high streets in Sydney,” says Colin Gunn, a spokesman for the group. “A major shopping centre would change the nature of the village.”

Underlying the opposition is a form of retail snobbery and resentment towards outsiders…

*At the same time, the council is seeking community input on its long-term plan for the suburb, which keeps its population low and prices high by limiting housing growth.

*As shown in the chart above, Mosman’s projected population growth is the second lowest in Sydney behind Lucy Turnbull’s wealthy enclave of Woollahra.

*So basically, the GSC is running a form of economic apartheid whereby Western Sydney shoulders the lion’s share of immigration and population growth to provide cheap foreign labour and inflated demand to the wealthy barons in the East.

*This model enables the Elites in the East to profit from the rentier services of over-priced ghetto apartments and postage stamp houses, inflated land banks, as well as higher volumes of mortgages and retail sales, while not having to share in the downsides of congestion and eroded amenity.

The Turnbulls sold the neighbouring house, pictured left, for $13.5 million, in 2011. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Photo: Domain





URBAN densification and subdivision of existing housing lots … revealed by the Study as being responsible for much of the greenery loss

Mass immigration gobbles up Melbourne’s greenery

By Unconventional Economist in Australian Economy

August 2, 2019 | 12 comments

The hidden costs of the ‘Big Australia’ mass immigration policy have surfaced again, with a new report from RMIT’s Centre for Urban Research showing an alarming loss of greenery across Metropolitan Melbourne caused by encroaching urban development:

Comparison of the 2014 and 2018 combined tree and shrub cover across the study area reveals an overall change of 50,964 ha to 46,393 ha; representing a change from 21.0% to 19.1% cover and a loss of 1.9 percentage points (or 4,571 ha).

For tree cover alone the change is from 34,074 ha to 32,333 ha; representing a change from 14.0% to 13.3% cover and a loss of 0.7 percentage points (or 1,742 ha).

The loss of greenery has been most pronounced in the ‘leafy’ Eastern region, Inner South East, and Southern region, caused by the loss of parkland, residential lots and streets trees, as well as on other land classes:

*The study blame urban densification and subdivision of existing housing lots as being responsible for much of the greenery loss:

Based on 2018 figures, residential land provides the largest area of vegetation cover and of tree cover across the study area (38,888 ha of vegetation cover; of this 15,193 ha is tree cover).

Between 2014 and 2018 residential land experienced the largest amount of tree canopy loss in absolute terms (861 ha) and the largest amount of combined shrub and tree loss (1,717 ha). In percentage tree cover, this is a change from 15.0% cover in 2014 to 14.2% cover in 2018, a loss of 0.8 percentage points…

Canopy loss is concentrated in areas where there is significant existing vegetation and significant urban re-development activity.

Speaking to Fairfax, lead author Associate Professor Joe Hurley noted that the loss of greenery is deleterious to residents’ health:

Members of the Upfield Urban Forest group: Anna Sinn, Greta and Esme Holroyd, Tamar Hopkins and Gerard Morel. They are photographed in the Urban Forest near Brunswick station.

“Trees and vegetation in cities provide a lot of benefits to human health and wellbeing, as well as ecological and biodiversity benefits,” Professor Hurley said.

Trees were also critical to cooling the climate in built-up spaces, he said.

“The big one is heat amelioration, particularly for drier cities like Melbourne and Perth, where we get very hot conditions and it’s only increasing under climate change.”

Obviously, the underlying driver of Melbourne’s development and the associated vegetation loss is mass immigration, which drove Melbourne’s population up by 1.3 million people (36%) in the 14 years to 2018:

As we know, Melbourne’s population is projected by the ABS to more than double again to 10.2 million people over the next 48 years, driven almost entirely by mass immigration:

Infrastructure Australia’s modelling also projects a significant reduction in access to green space (in addition to other worsening liveability indicators) as Melbourne’s population balloons to a projected 7.3 million people by 2046:

Anybody concerned about the loss of green space should address the problem at its source and lobby to slash immigration, since this is the fundamental driver of the rapid development engulfing Melbourne.

Row of new, modern suburban houses on the hill in Melbourne with trees during daytime.

Photo: Domain: View CAAN Photo album for new residential estates completely cleared of vegetation!





An unidentifiable woman walks through Sydney airport

PHOTO: Net overseas migration makes up the majority of Australia’s population growth. (AAP: Paul Miller)

IT is all part of the Ponzi Scheme … the origins of which date back to the 457 Visa being introduced after John Howard took office …

Search CAAN Website ‘Visa Manipulation’ Category to learn more …

From ‘The Comments’ …

-the real question no-one has answered is how many of these “new” migrant jobs are as a result of Australians’ jobs disappearing? What’s the net net? I’ve little doubt the job creation figures would look a whole lot less rosy…

-good on them. These cheap workers are providing a valuable service to Australia – enabling business owners employing them to steal their wages (simply pay them less than a local and keep the difference for themselves) to raise their own wages and take on more debt to grow the economy with!

-now I know why Melbourne has 25% youth unemployment

-how many of those jobs are Real Estate agents? How many are baristas? How many are other “service” or BS jobs?

-what jobs have been created vs which jobs have been destroyed I wonder? If wages growth is super low, it can’t be highly skilled jobs they are creating / taking surely? How many are uber drivers?

-the government is going with the path of least resistance – building up a service economy, which can be done by simply importing more consumers and low-wage workers

-building a productive economy, where we build products that the world wants, is too hard

-22 year-old son, recent graduate, could not get any form of job for several months after graduation. Finally secured a job by doing his security licence … 

… HIGH IMMIGRATION ‘instead of providing jobs, it is undercutting wages, crush-loading our cities, and forcing people to live in smaller and more expensive housing’

Professor: Migrants take three-quarters of Australian jobs

By Unconventional Economist in Australian Economy

July 31, 2019 | 29 comments

Last year, the Australian Treasury released a propaganda report, entitled Shaping a Nation, which admitted that the lion’s share of Australian jobs growth has gone to migrants:

*Recent migrants accounted for two-thirds (64.5 per cent) of the approximately 850,000 net jobs created in the past five years.

*For full-time employment, the impact is even more pronounced, with recent migrants accounting for 72.4 per cent of new jobs created.

Then at a Senate Estimates hearing in May, the Department of Home Affairs confirmed that migrants have taken the majority of new jobs:

Assistant secretary in the Home Affairs statistics and information branch, Jason Russo, said it was likely that “more than 50%” of the 1 million jobs created in five years were a result of immigration.

Home affairs secretary Michael Pezzullo clarified that this was likely because immigration’s contribution to population growth in Australia was running higher than 50%…

*In Estimates, officials could not definitively break down the number of permanent and temporary migrants that made up the total figure, but said that the 457 temporary skilled visa program accounted for around approximately 500,000 of the 850,000 of the jobs created in the time the report examined (which ended in 2016, well before the government reached 1 million jobs created).

Today, we have received further confirmation that migrants have taken most Australian jobs via Melbourne University demographer, Professor Peter McDonald:

“In recent times, about 75 per cent of employment growth in Australia can be attributed to recent immigrants”.

*A 2017 research paper by Professor McDonald published in the Australian Population Studies Journal examined the impact of immigration on Australia’s employment growth after the Global Financial Crisis (July 2011 to July 2016).

*It found that in the five-year period, employment in Australia increased by 738,800, with immigrants accounting for 613,400 of these jobs.

“Research indicates that immigration provides major benefits to the Australian economy,” his report concluded.

*Here is more evidence that the mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy is failing to benefit the incumbent population.

Instead of providing jobs, it is undercutting wages, crush-loading our cities, and forcing people to live in smaller and more expensive housing.