Current at: 04 August 2006
HIA today has confirmed that the draft regional strategy to guide development and population growth for the Illawarra region is similar in style and content to Sydney ’s Metropolitan Strategy.
HIA Executive Director Wayne Gersbach says, “following on from the previously released South Coast , Lower Hunter and Far North Coast Strategies, the Illawarra Strategy completes the picture on the greater metropolitan region and the predicted growth for Sydney and surrounds over the next 25 years”.
The strategy seeks to accommodate an extra 47,000 people in 38,000 new homes and seeks to create 30,000 jobs over the next 25 years.
“We are increasingly seeing the application of the same planning principles in these strategies – from the far north to the south east of the state,” says Mr Gersbach.
For the Illawarra the major strategic influences centre on:
- Jobs growth to minimise out commuting;
- Revitalising CBD and town centres;
- Urban containment; and
- Guiding development to maximise use of existing services.
According to Mr Gersbach, “some of the major challenges of the strategy will be meeting the jobs target to enhance regional identity and matching of housing opportunity to demand, in order that affordable opportunities and housing choice is provided.
“We have seen in Sydney that containment policies can have a drastic impact on the price of land, both on the fringes and in the established areas. The Illawarra is no different. It will require close monitoring to ensure that the right balance is achieved and that this matches market expectations.
Affordability is also being eroded by the regional infrastructure levies, now embedded in the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy, which has been repeated here. It is disappointing to see the State Government backing away from their responsibility to give future home owners the same rights to public infrastructure as existing. The full details of these levies should be provided before the Strategy is finalised,” said Mr Gersbach.
“HIA has noted that the strategy has been produced ahead of the Government’s Affordable Housing Strategy and urges caution before cementing action in a regional strategy that will have local affordability implications,” said Mr Gersbach.
“It is important now that the State Government work closely with the housing industry to ensure the Strategy can be achieved in both the short and long term. The medium density redevelopment expected within existing town centres and the Wollongong CBD, needs to be supported by the local community,” said Mr Gersbach.