Not all LGAs would be subject to such a high mandate; for example, western Sydney and Newcastle or Central Coast councils would be expected to see more low- and medium-density housing development.
The upcoming city and south-west metro line, and later the CBD line to Parramatta, have been earmarked for higher-density development, but with no clear framework for how much, when and how it will happen.
For example, the government separated plans for the apartment towers above Crows Nest tube station from the station itself after community opposition, and while the concept plans have now been approved, they only deal with the space directly above the station, not the suburb itself.
The Property Council urges the next government to create a “housing incentive fund” that would financially reward councils that exceed their set housing targets and seek a pooled Commonwealth contribution.
He also supports a scheme often advocated by the industry that would give developers a bonus in height and floor space for social and affordable housing, which could return to market rate after, say, 10 years.
The lobbying group’s filing also challenges the election winner to enforce housing targets at their own government agencies, including Landcom, Crown Lands and the Transport Asset Holding Entity, by redeveloping public land like the massive Bays Precinct project.
“In fact, they have at their disposal these policy levers that are easier to apply on land that they already own,” Cirson said.
The state government’s Greater Sydney Urban Development Program dashboard shows home approvals peaking at nearly 60,000 in the year to September 2016, more than half of them high-density, while completions topped 42,000 in the year to June 2019.
The most recent figures available, for the June 2022 quarter, show approvals of 36,000 a year (about 15% below the five-year average) and completions just below 25,000 (almost 30% below five-year average). Blacktown LGA was the powerhouse of Sydney’s housing growth last fiscal year, with 4,553 completions.
The Morning Edition newsletter is our guide to the biggest and most interesting stories, analysis and insights of the day. sign up here.