Big city’s big idea
A one-stop shop to modernise the way the New South Wales Government’s major infrastructure and urban planning priorities are delivered in Sydney is being developed.
NSW Premier Mike Baird and Planning Minister Pru Goward announced plans to establish a “Greater Sydney Commission” which could be tasked with priorities such as implementing the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy, advising Government on future plans and assisting developing sub-regional plans in partnership with councils.
“Other major jurisdictions such as London have shown the way on how to better manage urban growth and provide choice and opportunity for housing and employment,” Mr Baird said.
“Major infrastructure projects like WestConnex extend across several council areas – the Greater Sydney Commission will ensure planning for Sydney’s future is done in a holistic way.”
Mr Baird said he has asked the planning minister to develop a detailed proposal for the Greater Sydney Commission for consideration by the Cabinet.
Ms Goward said the challenge posed by Sydney’s growing population needed a new approach.
“The community expects development to be sensible, integrated, and well-coordinated,” Ms Goward said.
“It is the only way we can continue to build a vibrant, well-functioning city.
“I envisage a commission that draws on the experience of independent experts as well as local councils, so we can achieve a balance between the strategic development of Sydney and local input into decision-making.
“The expertise and leadership of councils will be a key asset that the Commission uses in delivering better outcomes for the people of Sydney.”
Property development advocacy group Urban Taskforce supported the creation of the commission.
Urban Taskforce chief executive Chris Johnson said the move could restructure the way state planning is undertaken in the NSW capital.
“There is an opportunity with this new organisation to focus on those projects that are of state and regional significance, developing the overall planning strategy for where growth is located and how infrastructure is aligned with this,” Mr Johnson said.