The draft Greater Sydney Region Plan released by the Greater Sydney Commission is heavy on rhetoric about affordability, infrastructure and sustainability but lacks the detail and enforceable targets to deliver the city we need.

The biggest hole in the draft plan is its failure to state clearly that the Liberal government’s 22 Priority Precincts are unplanned, incoherent and will damage the goals of a liveable, affordable and sustainable Sydney.

Greens MP and Planning Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“The Greater Sydney Commission has handed down its long term plan for the future of Sydney but failed to move from statements of ambition to detailed strategies for success.

30 Minute Cities

“The plan’s big vision is to create three “30-minute cities” for people to live near their workplaces.

“Even if this was delivered it would not build the city we need.  The fact is people choose to live where they can afford, in places linked to their family and friends, not just their jobs.

Priority Precincts

“The plan has fundamentally failed to deal with the 22 Priority Precents that are currently bulldozing and rezoning entire Sydney suburbs without any of the infrastructure to match.

“Rather than calling them out as destructive of good planning, the GSC celebrates them as “well planned” and “consistent” with the overall strategy.

“When the draft plan doesn’t even mention six of the most recently announced Priority Precincts, and gives only a one line reference to another five, this highlights the problems with Sydney’s planning.

Failing the affordability test

“Despite talk about development west of Parramatta, the bulk of the new housing will be in the city’s east without any plan to make it affordable or accessible.

“Where is the courage and vision to provide affordable housing? At a time when London is setting a 35% affordable housing target, Sydney’s is just 5% and still focussed on supply.

“Sydney has had five years of near record housing growth since 2011 and prices have continued to skyrocket, our city is less affordable now than ever before.

Baby steps on sustainability

“This is the first NSW government authority to talk positively about trees in seven years acknowledging the need for increased tree canopy. What is missing is a clear target for more trees.

“We know Western Sydney swelters over summer, without enforceable tree canopy targets this is only going to continue.

“Talk of a green grid is also positive, but it is a grid that is mainly focused on human connections, not connecting our natural world.

“Connected green open spaces should be at the heart of our growing city, but there are no wildlife corridors to link bushland between the east and west of Sydney.

Climate change

“Given that our planning laws do not even mention climate change at the moment we’re pleased to see a recommendation to move Sydney towards becoming a net-zero emissions Sydney.

“Given the plan describes itself as visionary we should expect far more. Climate change objectives need to be more than just aspirational otherwise we’re planning to fail.

“Sydney’s desperate need for accountable and sustainable regional planning will not be solved by this plan” Mr Shoebridge said.

Media contact: David Shoebridge 0408 113 952