DESPITE Sydney’s slower residential property market Meriton has got the go-ahead for the City’s tallest tower from the NSW Planning Panel … afterall Meriton deals directly offshore …

“China has more than 1 billion people, and they love Australia. I think they love Australia as much as we love Australia. So there will always be enough of them that will buy.”

Perhaps this explains why the Real Estate Gatekeepers gained an exemption from the Second Tranche of the Anti-Money Laundering Laws in October 2018?

And with a large range of Temporary Visas that facilitate access to a ‘Permanent Resident Visa’ is it any wonder that Parramatta is set to double its population?


Triguboff Gets Green Light on Parramatta’s Tallest Tower

Despite Sydney’s slower residential property market in recent years, property tycoon Harry Triguboff will push on with plans to build Parramatta’s tallest residential tower after getting the go-ahead from the New South Wales Planning Panel.


Meriton won approval for its 67-level glass tower and 58-level hotel at 180 George Street planned next to Parramatta River, lodged in July last year.

While the cost of the project is recorded around $229 million, estimates for the planned skyscraper development are north of this figure.

Meriton first purchased the Parramatta site in 2002 for $13.3 million.

Related: Triguboff’s Meriton Buys Mascot Site

Plans for 180 George Street

▲ Plans for 180 George Street Parramatta.

The Woods Bagot-designed two-tower project, located on the corner site of George and Charles Streets, will complete the development of the 7978sq m site, which Triguboff’s privately-owned Meriton first began developing in 2005.

Meriton has been developing in the area since the early 1970s, its most recent project, the dual-tower on Church Street spanning the former David Jones store site was completed in 2017.

The newly-approved George Street development will combine retail, five-star amenities and deliver 553 homes dwellings, while the hotel component will comprise 346 rooms.

The project sits close to another developer mogul’s major project, Lang Walker’s $3.2 billion Parramatta Square.

Other locally planned developments include 5 Parramatta Square, the $130 million multipurpose six-storey building lodged by the City of Parramatta, which also forms part of the Parramatta Square project.

Hilton last year announced it was partnering with Ledrae Hotels on a new 29-storey 245-room hotel in Parramatta, on the corner of Macquarie and Marsden streets.

While property fund manager GPT’s $230 million commercial tower at 32 Smith Street is under way after receiving approval last year.

Parramatta council says its population is expected to double over the next two decades.

Council currently has its Draft Local Strategic Planning Statement for land use planning to 2036 on exhibition.

AUTHOR Dinah Lewis Boucher




Commuters sick of waiting for high-speed rail options

Such comparisons are wrong and are comparing apples with oranges
Sydney to Wollongong … is difficult terrain … the others mentioned are largely flat

Q Instead why doesn’t the government stop foreigners buying our domestic housing to increase supply available for genuine Australian buyers needing a home?

Q Perhaps it is the population growth that has contributed to the numbers queued up to get onto the trains … compounding the problem …

And necessitating more stops?

Q Why hasn’t the government introduced the next tranche of anti-money laundering legislation to cover the Real Estate Gatekeepers? OOOps … they were made EXEMPT in October 2018 … by the Scomo Guvmnt!

Q After spending billions on tollways that haven’t solved our commuting difficulties … why do we have to wait to hear from experts to tell us what we already know?

Q How do we ever get ahead of these issues while we are growing our population largely by immigration at far higher rates than can be accommodated?

PERHAPS the Western Sydney rail lines could be looked at … the carriages are packed to the gills! Most standing!

MEANWHILE the Public/Private Scheme is hurtling down the track … that’s what is happening and to hell with the consequences!

Commuters sick of waiting for high-speed rail options

ABC Illawarra By Nick McLaren

14 OCTOBER 2019

Wollongong resident Harris Cheung commutes to Sydney by rail

PHOTO: A return train trip and work in Sydney for Wollongong resident Harris Cheung takes up to 14 hours out of his day. (Justin Huntsdale, ABC Illawarra)

EXTERNAL LINK: Use the Australia Talks interactive tool to see how Australians really think

RELATED STORY: ‘We feel cheated’: The residents of Australia’s booming suburbs say they were sold a false dream

RELATED STORY: There’s only one kind of Australian not losing sleep over our nation’s problems

RELATED STORY: We asked 54,000 Australians about their lives. Here’s what they told us

RELATED STORY: Three years ago, Miriam was $100k in debt. Here’s how she got out

While most of his neighbours are still sleeping in a suburb south of Wollongong, Harris Cheung is out of bed, preparing for the almost two-hour commute ahead of him.

The train he will catch to work in Sydney takes an hour-and-a-half — the same time it took to travel the route on a steam train in the 1930s.

Mr Cheung moved to Wollongong for family reasons. He hoped the spectacular beaches of the Illawarra would make for a better life.

Instead, he spends up to 14 hours a day working and commuting to bustling North Sydney.

The daily grind

The Australia Talks National Survey found:

  • One in three working Australians say their commute is too long
  • That rises to 40 per cent among Australians with a culturally-diverse background
  • One in three people in the Illawarra federal electorate, Cunningham, say they’d be happier if they spent less time commuting

Use the ABC’s interactive tool to see how you compare on this and other issues.

“It would make life a lot easier if the train trip between Wollongong and Central is less than an hour, which I think is quite doable,” he told the ABC.

Around 35,000 Illawarra residents commute outside the region for work each day, with around 26,000 heading to Sydney, the vast majority making the trip in a private vehicle.

With an average speed of 57 kilometres per hour, the train from Wollongong to Sydney is a slog. The Perth to Mandurah line, by contrast, has an average speed of 85 kilometres per hour, according to transport expert Associate Professor Phillip Laird from the University of Wollongong.Follow this story to get email or text alerts from ABC News when there is a future article following this storyline.Follow this story

Transport the missing link

As more Australians decide to commute daily from locations like the Gold Coast to Brisbane, Geelong to Melbourne, or the Blue Mountains or Central Coast to Sydney, they are finding transport can be a deal breaker.

The Illawarra’s local business chamber has found the Wollongong commute rates poorly against these comparable trips.

Despite promised improvements like new carriages with more room, Mr Cheung remains unimpressed.

How do you compare?

How do you compare?

We asked 54,000 people about their lives. See what they told us — and how you compare.

“You can have the best trains in the world but if it is as slow as it is now, it doesn’t make any sense at all,” he said.

A recent poll by IRIS Research has found more city dwellers would move to outer suburban and regional areas if strong transport links such as fast rail were in place.

Professor David Henscher from the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies said their latest survey asked about the attraction of a one-hour commute.

“There is always this trade-off between housing affordability, residential location and, of course, jobs,” he said.

“And one of the things we are promoting is not just relocating due to improved rail systems and having to commute back, there is also the real possibility of having some decentralised jobs because industry is more prepared to relocate under those conditions.”

He said in locations close to a major city, speeding up trains to 100 or 150 kilometres per hour would be enough to get the job done.

Wollongong Railway Station

PHOTO: Wollongong railway station, to the west of the CBD. (ABC Illawarra: Nick McLaren)

Solutions a long way away

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said a 35 per cent jump in train usage from locations south of Sydney over recent years shows government transport plans are working.

But the long-anticipated wait for new rail alignments or expensive tunnels that would make a real difference to commute times is ongoing.

Want more local news?

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“We have a global leading expert in Dr Andrew McNaughton who is looking at fast trains through the Illawarra and down to Nowra and part of that is looking at the alignment of the tracks,” he said.

“We have engaged the best person in the world to give that advice, his report is due by the end of the year and we will go from there.”

The process could stretch out a long way into the future — too long for Mr Cheung.

While he has considered working closer to home, the options in his profession are very limited.

“Every week I check job ads and things like that, in the area of my career,” he said.

“There are maybe five in a year that I could apply for [in Wollongong] but in Sydney there’s five every day.”

The Australia Talks National Survey asked 54,000 Australians about their lives and what keeps them up at night. Use our interactive tool to see the results and how their answers compare with yours.

Then, tune in at 8.30pm on November 18, as the ABC hosts a live TV event with some of Australia’s best-loved celebrities exploring the key findings of the Australia Talks National Survey





‘2020 VISION FOR TWIN TOWERS’ about a development in GOSFORD CBD so-called State Significant builds …

$400M Archibald development of 2 towers including 300 apartments, hotel of 167 suites, 25 floors plus retail, bars and restaurants.

It was originally in 2015 the work of Peter Zhu but new owners of the Archibald are keeping their identities secret, why?

The Central Coast Quarter development application has been lodged for a hotel/entertainment destination at the southern end of Mann St … was this what the sell-off of the Gosford Public School was all about?

Plus another developer down the road is proposing 3 buildings between 8 and 24 floors to include much the same …

AND the Lederer Group is planning a development near Kibble Park, Gosford of 5 buildings 20 to 30 storeys … OMG!

The beautiful harbourside setting of Gosford to disappear for ‘Vibrancy and the emerging population’ … from??

To find out how this has been ‘fast-tracked’ view:

NSW PLANNING MINISTER appoints New Co-ordinator General to enforce development of the GOSFORD CBD!


CONTRARY TO Central Coast Enforcer, the Gosford Waterfront is included in draft CBD DCP



Gosford CBD: Gosford Alive, Central Coast Quarter DAs lodged

Many said Gosford would never take off but $1 billion of investment is on the move with work to start on a $400 million project and that’s just the start of it.

Fiona Killman,

Central Coast Express Advocate

October 9, 2019

$1 billion worth of development is on the move in Gosford CBD.
$1 billion worth of development is on the move in Gosford CBD.

MORE IN NEWSLOCALErina to boast largest toy store on coastCouncil avoids costs blowout over failed Allianz court action

MDMA importation case evidence ‘lost in translation’

About $1 billion in residential and commercial developments in the Gosford CBD are finally on the move.

Designs are finished and construction will begin early next year on a $400 million development hailed as Gosford’s “most significant transformation”.

And two state significant developments — Central Coast Quarter (expected to cost hundreds of millions) and Gosford Alive ($280m) — go on public exhibition on Friday until November 7.

*The highly anticipated Central Coast Quarter development application has been lodged for a hotel/entertainment destination at the southern end of Mann St where the old Gosford Public School once stood.

St Hilliers finalise Masterplan DA for Central Coast Quarter.
St Hilliers finalise Masterplan DA for Central Coast Quarter.

The St Hilliers Masterplan for 26 to 32 Mann St proposes a mixed-use precinct with three buildings between eight- and 24-storeys to include a hotel, residential accommodation and commercial premises including restaurants and shops.

It also includes a public plaza to flow onto the Leagues Club Field which is set for a $10m transformation into a nature inspired space.

Across the CBD, The Lederer Group has revised its proposal for the Gosford Kibbleplex site. The proposal, known as Gosford Alive, is a mixed use development including five towers, ranging from 20 to 30 storeys, at 136 to 146 and 148 Donnison St.

A 2016 artists impression of Gosford Alive before it was withdrawn.
A 2016 artists impression of Gosford Alive before it was withdrawn.

Lederer Group — helmed by Primo smallgoods honcho and Western Sydney Wanderers owner Paul Lederer — wants to construct a residential and retail precinct including 1014 basement and above ground parking spaces.

In March, the Express obtained documents for Gosford Alive which outlined Lederer’s intentions to combine residential, retail, food and beverage, entertainment and leisure offerings all in the same city block.

It goes as far as to suggest a cinema or bowling alley would be at home within the project’s scope.

First images of The Archibald Development have been released.
First images of The Archibald Development have been released.

“The proposed development is an urban renewal project, which will result in the transition of an unappealing carpark site into a lively, attractive, and vibrant precinct to serve the growing needs of the emerging population in and around the Central Coast,” the report read.

This development has been subject to many hold ups, with Lederer withdrawing a proposal for 730 residential apartments in 2016 due to uncertainty around the council merger.

Gosford City Council sold Kibbleplex to the Lederer Group in 2015 for $13 million.

The Archibald Development includes a hotel and restaurants.
The Archibald Development includes a hotel and restaurants.

The $400 million Archibald Development includes two towers with 300 apartments, a premium hotel with 167 suites and world class roof top bar on the corner of Mann and Donnison streets.

The towers will be 25 and 26 storeys and include retail shops, bars and restaurants.

The development was initially approved in May 2015.

Back then it was the vision of developer Peter Zhu, however the new owners of The Archibald have kept their identity confidential.

Construction will start in early 2020.

DAILYTELEGRAPH.COM.AU0:33First look at final designs for Leagues Club Field in Gosford

The Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation has released final designs for the $10 transformation of Leagues Cl…

The $10m transformation of Leagues Club Field is expected to start within weeks.

The final plans include a nature-inspired space with new picnic areas and amenities, walkways, inclusive playground and water play areas.

The water areas will work in with the tide from Brisbane Water, and have a maximum depth of 280mls.

Earlier this year, Central Coast Leagues Club also announced its future vision for a $450m redevelopment including two towers with alfresco dining precinct, hotel accommodation and improved pedestrian access to Gosford and the waterfront.

Gosford Leagues Club's vision for its redevelopment. Picture: Grant Leslie Photography
Gosford Leagues Club’s vision for its redevelopment. Picture: Grant Leslie Photography

It is predicted to generate 1500 direct construction jobs and up to 400 permanent jobs.

The Club, which is the longest running on the Coast, indicated it wasn’t going to be left behind in the revitalisation of Gosford.

All of this activity and investment, including the completion of Bonython Tower, has attracted new business and places to socialise in the CBD with the opening of Bay Rd Brewing, The Bon Pavilion, along with South End Social and At Baker Street.

Bay Rd Brewery opened Gosford. Picture: Sue Graham
Bay Rd Brewery opened Gosford. Picture: Sue Graham
South End Social is at the southern end of Mann St. Picture: Sue Graham
South End Social is at the southern end of Mann St. Picture: Sue Graham

$1 billion worth of development is on the move in Gosford CBD.




LANDCOM Releases ‘Super Lots’ in NORTH RYDE

GREENLAND – China’s largest Government State-backed Real Estate group in 2014 became the developer of “Lachlan’s Line” Master Planned Community on the corner of Epping Road, Delhi Road and the M2, NORTH RYDE.

NOW LANDCOM has announced the sale of another two large development sites at Lachlan’s Line.

The Precinct is planned to house some 5000 residents in 2700 dwellings.

INTERESTING with proximity to the the North West Metro Line that currently connects Tallawong in Sydney’s north-west with Chatswood to connect to the City and South West Lines. And housing hubs at all eight new stations between Tallawong and Epping currently being developed over the next 10 years to deliver 11,000 new homes …

VIEW RELATED ARTICLE on CHATSWOOD a city being built by the Chinese Communist Party …

What of the Business and Information Technology Parks originally developed in this Precinct and/or community open space?

Image may contain: sky and outdoor

CAAN Photo: May 2016 View of Lachlan’s Line from Wicks Road, North Ryde/Macquarie Park


Landcom Releases ‘Super Lots’ In North Ryde


Landcom Releases ‘Super Lots’ in North Ryde


The NSW government’s land and property development arm Landcom has announced the sale of two large development sites at Lachlan’s Line, near North Ryde station.

The latest land release includes two stages comprising medium to high-density residential super lots, which can be bought together or separately.

Landcom, led by new chief executive, John Brogden, is calling for developer expressions of interest to buy and develop the land which is part of the North Ryde Station Precinct, announced in 2013.

Once complete, a new contemporary urban village will provide approximately 2,700 homes for around 5,000 residents close proximity to jobs, shops, and transport.


▲ Sydney Metro Northwest Places is a 10-year program.

The sites will benefit from its proximity to the the North West Metro Line that currently connects Tallawong in Sydney’s north-west with Chatswood, and will eventually connect to the City and South West Lines.

Through the Sydney Metro Northwest Places program, housing hubs at all eight new stations between Tallawong and Epping are currently being developed over the next 10 years to deliver 11,000 new homes in total.

Beyond Epping and towards the Sydney CBD, much of the land around the stations has already been developed.

The latest land release, being overseen by Knight Frank, includes two stages comprising medium to high density residential superlots, which can be bought together or separately.

“The vision for Lachlan’s Line is to create a vibrant new residential neighbourhood and local destination with quality public spaces and amenity,” Brogden said.

“As the master planner for Lachlan’s Line, Landcom has already delivered lead-in infrastructure and services to prepare the superlots for development, as well as public domain spaces, parks and regional road upgrades.

The sites follow previous land releases within the 9ha Lachlan’s Line project.

Fraser’s Australia purchased the station north site, yielding 380 apartments, in 2013.

In late 2014, Greenland Australia Investment then secured a 1.2 hectare, mixed-use site for shops, community facilities and around 900 apartments.

Image may contain: sky, skyscraper, tree and outdoor

CAAN Photo: Greenland Lachlan’s Line, October 2019





CLEANAWAY’S Proposal for an Incinerator to be located in the Middle of Western Sydney in Eastern Creek next to Western Sydney Parklands …

Even though Western Sydney is to be the recipient of the highest population growth …

Reading this … it is enough to make one ill …

“Incinerators should be banned from large population bases.”


Eastern Creek incinerator: Cleanaway reveals plan for $500m incinerator

With time running out for city’s landfill sites, a new multimillion-dollar proposal has come forward to convert household waste into energy. Here’s what they plan to do.

Jake McCallum, Urban Affairs Reporter — EXCLUSIVE, Blacktown Advocate|

October 3, 2019

DAILYTELEGRAPH.COM.AU0:31Eastern Creek waste to energy plant

An overview of the Wallgrove Rd, Eastern Creek site, which could house the new waste to energy plant by Cleanaways

Sydney’s landfill crisis is set to be tackled with an ambitious proposal to convert household waste into enough energy to power 65,000 homes in the city’s western suburbs.

The $500 million initiative — which would see waste burnt at an Eastern Creek-based incinerator — would cut annual landfill volumes in western Sydney by 500,000 tonnes and is the vision of Australia’s largest waste management company, Cleanaway.

An overview of the Wallgrove Rd, Eastern Creek site, which could house the new Western Sydney Energy and Resource Recovery Centre by Cleanaways
An overview of the Wallgrove Rd, Eastern Creek site, which could house the new Western Sydney Energy and Resource Recovery Centre by Cleanaways

The state-of-the-art waste to energy conversion facility would be built at Wallgrove Rd, Eastern Creek, as part of a joint venture with Macquarie Capital’s Green Investment Group.

The multimillion-dollar state significant planning proposal for the facility is expected to be submitted to the NSW Government next month.

Cleanaway chief executive, Vik Bansal, said the Western Sydney Energy and Resource Recovery Centre would “target red bin waste that cannot be recycled” and earmarks western Sydney would become “a leader in smart waste management”.

Cleanaway chief executive, Vik Bansal at a Victorian landfill site.
Cleanaway chief executive, Vik Bansal at a Victorian landfill site.

“Our proposal, if successful, would turn rubbish that would have been landfilled into a clean source of energy that supplies the grid and contributes to more affordable power for consumers,” Mr Bansal said.

“Our facility would create 800 jobs during construction and 50 ongoing local jobs and bring new skills to NSW.”

Households and businesses across western Sydney currently generate enough landfill waste to fill more than 2400 Olympic-sized swimming pools every year, however, Mr Bansal argues the Cleanaway incinerator project at Eastern Creek would see almost a third of all waste transferred into energy.

The Western Sydney Energy and Resource Recovery Centre by Cleanaway could produce enough energy to power 65,000 homes.
The Western Sydney Energy and Resource Recovery Centre by Cleanaway could produce enough energy to power 65,000 homes.

“By diverting waste from our landfills, an energy from waste facility would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 450,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year,” Mr Bansal said. “This is the same as taking approximately 100,000 cars off our roads.”

Government consultation are already underway for the proposal, which is currently undertaking planning assessments for the incinerator.

Countries including Germany, France, Sweden and the United Kingdom have established waste to energy resource centres.

DAILYTELEGRAPH.COM.AU0:16Sysav, South Scania Waste Company, Malmo, Sweden 26 Sep 2019v2

An overview of the Sysav, South Scania Waste Company in Malmo, Sweden — similar to the Western Sydney Energy and Resourc…

A strong campaign has been waged against the approval of larger incinerators across western Sydney, with ongoing Land and Environment Court proceedings against a proposal for a massive facility at Eastern Creek by Dial-A-Dump Industries’ Next Generation.

The proposal for that $700 million development saw close to 1000 objections to an independent Planning Commission, which resulted in a refusal of the plans on July 18, 2018, and a case launched in the courts.

Blacktown Mayor Stephen Bali MP and protesters at the site of another incinerator planned for Eastern Creek.
Blacktown Mayor Stephen Bali MP and protesters at the site of another incinerator planned for Eastern Creek.

Panel members argued there was “insufficient evidence” that the proposed pollution control technologies are capable of appropriately managing emissions.

“There is uncertainty in relation to the air quality, and the relationship between air quality impacts and water quality impacts,” the panel’s findings found.

“As a result, there is uncertainty in relation to the human health risks and site suitability.”

Mr Bansal clarified Cleanaway’s technology would ensure the environmental safety.

“The emission cleaning systems ensure the emissions leaving the plant is cleaned before it enters the atmosphere,” he said.

“The proposal will be assessed considering the triple bottom line — making sure it creates social, environmental and economic benefits. We won’t spare any effort to ensure the design is leading edge in terms of environmental controls and safe for the community.

Edward & Adam Llagas pictured celebrating with The Anti-incinerator campaigners who have won their fight against the Eastern Creek plant proposed by Dial A Dump. (AAP Image Monique Harmer)
Edward & Adam Llagas pictured celebrating with The Anti-incinerator campaigners who have won their fight against the Eastern Creek plant proposed by Dial A Dump. (AAP Image Monique Harmer)


Blacktown Mayor and Labor MP Stephen Bali called for new guidelines to protect local communities.

“Regardless the merit of the facilities, the community have asked for the reformation of laws and assessment process, which are outdated, he said.

“It is so difficult to work out the impact of local residents.

“There are several other incinerators proposed in Sydney and the government has failed to modernise the assessment process.”

Cr Bali said the proposal is looking at a “19th century solution for a 21st century problem”.

“You have kids protest climate change and companies are still proposing to burn waste,” he said.

“There should be a parliamentary inquiring into monitoring, regulating and reviewing these issues. We need worlds-best practice to provide benchmarks to protect the community and the environment.

“Incinerators should be banned from large population bases.”





In SYDNEY and MELBOURNE … Where else can they be found?

Both leading pest experts from either City nominate major CONSTRUCTION … Tunnelling … for disturbing them from where they live … forcing them to move on … a bit like us too?

Rats are starting to run the show in Australia’s east coast cities

Rats have been an issue in Australian cities since the First Fleet. Photo: Getty

Cait Kelly

Cait KellyReporter


An infestation of rodents is bringing a new kind of rat race to Australia’s eastern cities.

The construction boom, poor waste management and colder weather over winter have brought the usually invisible rodents out onto the streets.

Residents and business owners in Sydney and Melbourne have noted an infestation of vermin over the past three months.

Sam Yehia, from Sydney’s Best Pest Control, said major construction work under way was a key contributor to residents noticing the rodents more.

“At the moment, there’s a lot of building work disturbing them and they’re moving,” Mr Yehia told The New Daily.

“Basically you’re disturbing where they’re living.”

The number of complaints of rats in the harbour city has been rising at a steady rate for four years.

Rats live in our cities because we provide a food source – garbage. Photo: Getty

It is so bad that the City of Sydney council announced it was doubling the number of rat baits to try and curb the growing population.

But Mr Yehia said the attempt would have little effect on the number of rats.

“They’re just reactive policies. They’re reacting to what the media is saying,” he said.

“It will have a limited effect because it comes down to how many bait stations you’re putting down and how often you’re getting it done.”

Currently, on the New South Wales Food Authority’s website, there are 155 active pest penalties.

“When it comes to commercial, most restaurants are also more reactive than proactive,” Mr Yehia said.

“One reason is that it’s an added cost they don’t want. Second is the rats start to go where to food sources are.

“In Sydney itself, at the moment you’re getting an increase.”

‘Get used to it’

It’s not just Sydney.

Simon Dixon from Exopest said construction was also causing the rats and mice to scurry out into the open in Melbourne.

With construction on the nine-kilometre Metro Tunnel not expected to finish until 2025, he said Melburnians should get used to the rat plague.

“We’ve got five to 10 years of tunnelling, so the rats have to find new homes,” he said.

“We’re throwing tenants out on the street effectively.”

In Melbourne alone, there are estimated to be four rats to every person.

Getting rid of the rodents is obviously hard, but using baits and storing food properly will help, Mr Dixon said.

“We’ve been living with rats since the first rat plague, but we have to be aware there are more around now,” he said.

“Make sure you do the baiting and store food properly. The biggest problem is the lanes and bins. Rodents are good climbers and they’ve got a food source in the lanes.”

The best thing to do though is just embrace the rats, he said.

“Just get used to it, they’re here to stay,” he said.

“They’re pretty friendly, but they do jump. They’re agile, so look out.”





WHY is it the SMH can hold a ‘population forum’ but never acknowledge the option of not increasing the population?

Self-serving planners decry BIG AUSTRALIA “debacle”

By Unconventional Economist in Australian Economy

September 24, 2019 |  comments

Inner city Melbourne most densely populated area in Australia

Estimates released on Wednesday by the ABS shows the most densely populated area in Australia was inner city Melbourne.

David Williams – chief executive officer of the Planning Institute of Australia, which represents qualified urban and regional planners across the country – has penned an article in The SMH decrying that Australia is “sleepwalking towards a three-megacity debacle” courtesy of Australia’s mass immigration policy:


The Planning Institute of Australia agrees: population growth and infrastructure investment are not an end in themselves, they are tools to shape more liveable and sustainable cities and regions.

The deep collaboration needed to guide them goes beyond treasury officials; it requires a shared vision and consistent ways of understanding how Australia is changing.

Last year, the institute called for the Commonwealth and states to work together to deliver a National Settlement Strategy – and a federal parliamentary inquiry and many peak groups have since made similar recommendations…

It would be about outcomes; for example, ensuring investment decisions are more responsive to where housing and job growth could occur, and providing a mandate to plan for better connected and more liveable cities and towns.

Australia is sleepwalking its way towards becoming a nation of three megacities – centred on Melbourne, Sydney and South East Queensland – with regions which struggle with social and economic equity issues.

A National Settlement Strategy would seek to correct this trajectory, which most people recognise as being neither desirable nor in the national interest.

Planning Minister Rob Stokes at the Herald's Population Summit on Monday.

Planning Minister Rob Stokes at the Herald’s Population Summit on Monday.CREDIT:LOUISE KENNERLEY

*It’s amazing that The SMH can hold a ‘population forum’ and never actually acknowledge that policy makers have the option of not increasing the population.

Take a look at the ABS’ medium population projections for Australia:

*Australia’s population would grow by 17.5 million less people over the next 48 years without positive net overseas migration (NOM).

*In fact, Australia’s population would be exactly the same in 2066 as it is today without positive NOM, according to the ABS.

*The Planning Institute of Australia can bang on all it likes about shaping “more liveable and sustainable cities and regions”. But these are just empty words. There is no way that Australia can accommodate 350,000 to 400,000 extra people every year without creating major infrastructure, housing and environmental problems.

The last 15 year’s experiment with mass immigration is testament to this fact.

*The Planning Institute is also conveniently quiet on the water supply front. The magic water fairy will no doubt provide for the ever increasing population.

The fact of the matter is that the majority of Australians do not want a ‘Big Australia’. They want immigration to be slashed.

When will self-serving shills like the Planning Institute listen?

Australia sleepwalking towards a megacity debacle

Photo: SMH




NSW Planning Minister rejects mass immigration madness


‘The situation is made worse by the vertical fiscal imbalances embedded in the federal system, whereby the Commonwealth raises 82% of total tax revenue, the states and territories 15%, and local government just 3%.

This imbalance has left the states – who are the primary providers of public services – to being heavily reliant on the Commonwealth for funding to cope with the population influx bestowed on them by the federal government’s mass immigration program.

How do our federal politicians propose that our state governments provide all of the economic and social infrastructure necessary to accommodate such rabid population growth in Sydney as well as Melbourne? Because the experience of the past 15 years of mass immigration has been one of monumental failure.

The reality is that maintaining a mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy means that Sydney and Melbourne will continue to be crush-loaded as their populations swell by the millions, placing extreme further pressure on infrastructure and housing, and destroying living standards for incumbent residents.

Rob Stokes is well justified in pushing back. Victoria’s politicians should too.

NSW Planning Minister rejects mass immigration madness

By Unconventional Economist in Australian Economy

September 23, 2019 | 5 comments

Two years ago, NSW Planning Minister, Rob Stokes, pushed-back against the federal government’s blind march towards a ‘Big Australia’, claiming it is leaving Sydney forever struggling to keep pace:

Rob Stokes said the state government was left trying to retrofit the NSW’s infrastructure and services to an expanding population, without a clear, transparent trajectory of NSW’s future population.

“It’s impossible to plan if you don’t know what you are planning for,” Mr Stokes said. “There’s no overarching narrative of where we are going”…

Mr Stokes said states were at the mercy of the federal government’s migration policies while bearing the bulk of the infrastructure costs associated with adapting to a growing population.

“Whether it’s planning for patient beds, medical services, the number of new schools and where they are located, housing affordability, or transport routes, ultimately we are planning in the dark if we don’t know what the population is going to do.

“Why are we frightened about having a policy on this? We have policies on everything else.”

Today, Rob Stokes has hit-out once more, arguing that population policy should not be left to the treasury department:

[Stokes] observes that predictions about population growth in Sydney and NSW are almost always wrong, mostly because they cannot anticipate federal immigration policies.

“What is clear is that decisions by the federal government about immigration have profound impacts on the size and distribution of population that the states are left to plan for – without knowing how many people will rely on public services into the future,” Mr Stokes writes…

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, along with his state counterparts, have said they would work towards a national population framework by the end of the year. While Mr Stokes said this was heartening, he also suggested treasurers and treasuries should not have exclusive carriage of the issue.

“From a treasury perspective, population growth is just another term for economic productivity. Strategic planning takes a broader view of the complexity of human settlements, so that the economy exists to serve the population, rather than the population being increased to serve the economy,” Mr Stokes writes…

Anyone that lives in Sydney will agree that living standards are being eroded, with roads, public transport, schools and hospitals all crush-loaded and housing becoming hideously expensive.

Worse is yet to come with Sydney’s population projected to grow by 94,000 people per year (1,800 people per week) to 9.7 million over the next 48-years, effectively doubling Sydney’s population:

Sydney’s feverish growth is also projected by Infrastructure Australia to erode residents’ access to roads, public transport, jobs, hospitals, schools and open spaces, irrespectively of whether Sydney builds-up or builds-out:

The situation is made worse by the vertical fiscal imbalances embedded in the federal system, whereby the Commonwealth raises 82% of total tax revenue, the states and territories 15%, and local government just 3%.

This imbalance has left the states – who are the primary providers of public services – to being heavily reliant on the Commonwealth for funding to cope with the population influx bestowed on them by the federal government’s mass immigration program.

How do our federal politicians propose that our state governments provide all of the economic and social infrastructure necessary to accommodate such rabid population growth in Sydney as well as Melbourne? Because the experience of the past 15 years of mass immigration has been one of monumental failure.

The reality is that maintaining a mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy means that Sydney and Melbourne will continue to be crush-loaded as their populations swell by the millions, placing extreme further pressure on infrastructure and housing, and destroying living standards for incumbent residents.

Rob Stokes is well justified in pushing back. Victoria’s politicians should too.



C J has written an article as CEO of Developer Lobby, URBAN TASKFORCE, ‘BEST PLANS GO AWRY’ … about the Independent Planning Commission in effect cancelling the St Leonards South Precinct … after five years … with a possible loss to developers of up to $720M …

AS an aside, is his retirement still pending?

IT is good to know what this Mob’s thinking is … what they are saying …

DESPITE their awful track record … DEVELOPERS, it seems, feel they are entitled … is it because they have had it so good for so long … their appetite is whet for even more?

THIS is how a commentator and St Leonards resident sums up the proposed and now rejected Precinct proposal for St Leonards South …

‘Here in Sydney we have abitrary population targets foisted on us from the State Government and Greater Sydney Commission on an area by area basis with absolutely no consideration for what it means for our area’s way of life and amenity.

It’s great for property developers and those who “benefit” from property rezonings, but a disaster for the rest of us. With choked roads, overburdened hospitals, schools without playgrounds, and now even trains which struggle to keep up with the numbers.

Open space is under threat right across Sydney. It’s time for a major rethink.

The residents of my local area of South St Leonard’s/Greenwich/Crow’s Nest have been battling a proposal for five years now to replace a housing area containing just 450 people with twenty apartment towers containing 4500 residents, and this in addition to spot rezonings and developments right across the area.

It will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for the area.

Already North Shore hospital is at breaking point but all we hear is that this is your 2036 target population, and you must comply!

It is a recipe for complete economic dysfunction and chaos in an area which is a major artery into the city.

The State Govt and Greater Sydney Commission needs to have a rapid rethink on where to from here or risk transforming Sydney into a not very liveable urban morass.

I applaud the thrust of Rob Stokes comments and observations. Hopefully some commonsense can be injected into the whole population debate before it is too late for our great city of Sydney and our way of life.’

VIEW the article written by Planning Minister Rob Stokes

No photo description available.

CAAN Photo: Daily Telegraph: Saturday September 21, 2019; Saturday Extra Page 35



WHAT are the Grattan Institute ‘supply-side’ solutions about? Seriously?

Photo: The Conversation

ANALYSIS From the “Unconventional Economist” …

LOOKS like the Grattan Institute is acting like

another ‘Big Australia’ lobby group, and a mouthpiece for the property development industry

CAAN: *Because the Grattan Institute overlooks the impact of the migrating HIGH NET WORTH FROM CHINA! It began with the Howard Government lure for the Middle Class Chinese to buy our real estate for ‘flexible citizenship’.

Is that where the competition for Australian Domestic Housing came from forcing up prices?

ASK why is the Grattan Institute laying the blame at the feet of the older Boomer home owners … is it about exerting pressure on them to ‘DOWNSIZE’ to make way for the ‘Low-Rise Medium Density Housing Code’ of terraces and townhouses to sell 100% overseas? *

Related Article:

Grattan’s ‘supply-side’ solutions sing property developers’ hymn sheet

By Unconventional Economist in Australian Property

September 20, 2019 | 7 comments

The Grattan Institute has penned another piece in The Conversation calling for the middle suburbs in our major cities to be bulldozed into higher density in order to squeeze in millions of extra migrants and ‘solve’ Australia’s housing crisis:

Rising house prices have increased wealth inequality. Rising housing costs have dramatically widened the gap between high and low disposable incomes…

Home ownership is increasingly benefiting the already well-off.

*Since 2003-04, increasing property values have contributed to the wealth of high-income households increasing by more than 50%.

Wealth for low-income households has grown by less than 10%

As we’ve noted previously rising housing costs have widened the gap between renters and home owners. As property prices have escalated, the higher deposit hurdle has seen rates of home ownership falling fast among the young and the poor…

The big winners of the property boom have typically been older typically Australians lucky enough to buy a house before prices took off. Housing has thus compounded inequality between the young and old…

Despite the clear evidence housing is key to inequality in Australia, housing policy is thin on the ground…

Addressing inequality requires a clearer view on what to do about rising housing costs…

Supply-side economics

Housing is a A$6.6 trillion market. Subsidies can only paper over market failures arising from overly strict zoning rules that prevent greater density in our major cities.

Housing inequality will really only fall if housing costs fall. That requires building more houses. We estimate building an extra 50,000 homes a year for the next decade would make house prices and rents 10% to 20% lower than they would be otherwise.

This is primarily a challenge for state governments. They govern the local councils that set most planning rules and assess most development applications. But the federal government can and should encourage the states to boost housing supply by reforming land-use planning and zoning laws.

The housing crisis is real. But Grattan’s ‘supply-side’ solution is a distraction that might as well have come from the Property Council, Housing Industry Association or Master Builders Australia under the guise of “planning reform”. These ideas are not only pandering to the ‘Big Australia’ agenda, they are undemocratic as they sideline due process and community input and appeal rights.

Nowhere in this article did Grattan propose dealing with the problem at its source:

by lower immigration back to historical levels and preventing the housing and infrastructure shortages from developing in the first place:

The fact of the matter is that the mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy that Grattan supports has locked residents in our major cities into falling standards of living.

We know this because the empirical evidence of 15-years of hyper immigration-fuelled population growth has seen economic and social infrastructure become crush-loaded, forced residents into living in smaller and more expensive housing, and eroded wages.

Moreover, Infrastructure Australia’s projections for Sydney and Melbourne show that traffic congestion will soar and access to jobs, schools, hospitals and open space will all decline by 2046, irrespective of how these cities build-out to cope with populations of 7.4 million and 7.3 million people respectively:

What Grattan does not seem to comprehend is that increasing density in established suburbs will inevitably result in greater demand for land in these privileged locations. Increased demand equals increased cost as the amount of land is fixed. This will inevitably result in smaller and more expensive housing, less public open space, a greater concentration of people in taller and more concentrated buildings, leading to increased temperatures (the ‘heat island effect’), greater traffic congestion, overcrowded schools and hospitals, etc. Again, these impacts are projected by Infrastructure Australia above.

Moreover, with Melbourne’s and Sydney’s populations increasing by around 200,000 people (combined) a year, no amount of increased spending on infrastructure will ever be enough. In these built-out metropolises, where land prices are already insanely high, the cost of widening existing transport corridors or tunnelling to handle increased traffic flows are simply prohibitive. It’s playing catch up to something that just gets further out of reach every year, as the past 15 years has clearly demonstrated.

Dr Cameron Murray has also expertly rubbished Grattan’s magical solution of boosting dwelling construction by 50,000 a year as a pipedream and a waste of Australia’s economic resources for minimal gain:

The greatest housing policy fraud is what I will call The Supply-side Distraction. recent presentation by Grattan Institute’s Brendan Coates was called: “Supply sceptics beware: without more housing, it won’t be affordable.”

Sounds ominous. But here is the conclusion: “Building an extra 50,000 homes a year for a decade could see house prices 10-20% lower.”

Really? That’s less exciting than John Alexander’s preferred outcome of prices rising 5% per year instead of 10% per year!..

A frank approach would see that in the three months to June 2015 Sydney home prices increased 9%. This is the scale of the ambition– reverse a few months price growth with an insanely large decade-long construction program.

And the economic cost of that low ambition? That would be a 25% increase on the already high number of homes being built of over 200,000 per year, enough to accommodate half a million people.

We are currently building a new Newcastle-worth of homes a year, and we would need to add to that a new Ballarat, Toowoomba, or Darwin’s worth, every year, for 10 years, to reduce prices by just the amount they grew in the second quarter of 2015 in Sydney, or the past 10 months in Hobart.

Some suburbs of Sydney have seen prices fall by more than that in the past year from tightening of credit. It is a colossal investment task for a minute reduction in housing costs.

Currently, a record 9.5% of the labour force is in construction, which was just 7.5% prior to the financial crisis. To meet this supply ambition over ten years, to reverse a few month’s price growth, would take an extra 2.5% of the workforce to stop what they are doing, stop producing what they are producing, and shift into housing construction.

That’s an extra 330,000 people, or about the labour force of the Gold Coast, and even higher than the labour force of Canberra.

The real resources required for this 10% price effect make me wonder how serious followers of this view can be. Even worse, The Supply-side Distraction does not involve actually building any new homes at all but hoping that minor tweaks to planning rules will stimulate the greatest construction boom in the history of the nation where property developers left, right, and centre, will be building thousands of new homes even though it reduces their profits by doing so because it reduces prices!

That’s the truly bizarre part of the story. Not only do the economics show that supply’s effect on price is tiny, making it a strange target for an affordable housing policy, but the way that supply-siders plan to get there is, essentially, to hope the market works like it does in their clearly flawed model!

I have many times asked that if you really believe this story, why not create a public agency tasked with building and selling 50,000 new homes a year, regardless of their own profitability. No. That’s getting too close to being an effective way trimming 10% off the price of housing. We wouldn’t want that!

I like Grattan’s analysis on Budget issues. But on urban planning, it acts like another ‘Big Australia’ lobby group and a mouthpiece for the property development industry.