Media Release
Statement on housing reforms
06 March, 2024

Media contact

Matt Levinson

Estelle Grech, Planning Policy Manager, Committee for Sydney:

“There’s a lot to like in these housing reforms, but we need to take the time to get it right before automatically uplifting heights around all centres.

“Not all town centres are created equal. We need to make sure they have the social infrastructure new residents need, including childcare, primary schools, open space, libraries and cultural centres, as well as frequent and reliable public transport.

“We also need to ensure it’s actually feasible to build on these sites – there’s a risk that upzoning land for higher densities in areas where the market’s not ready could sterilise those sites from any housing renewal at all, as well as increasing the costs to councils purchasing land for open space or community facilities.

“Instead of trying to do everything everywhere all at once, we should prioritise and start in the areas with the highest potential. It makes sense to start in the city’s east and work our way west in a clear and certain manner, allowing markets to mature over time.

“The inner west already has the terraces, manor homes and red brick walk-ups intended by the government’s proposed low-midrise policy – that’s why so many inner west centres are covered by the government’s proposal, because it’s already a relatively dense place.

“While there is much more to do when it comes to increasing the availability of housing in well-serviced areas like the inner west, working with local councils on place-based solutions should be our focus. Inner West Council put forward proposals ahead of the 2022 local government elections that offered potentially higher density in key areas, these should be revisited.”