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Slow silos won’t solve housing headache. NGAA says ‘there is a better way!’

The National Growth Areas Alliance (NGAA) welcomes Infrastructure Minister Catherine King's Western Sydney funding announcements in the lead up to the 2024/25 Budget release. While a step in the right direction, they must be matched by a coordinated response across and within State and Federal Governments. 

Representing over five million residents living in outer suburban areas that have delivered the bulk of Australia’s housing supply over the last 30 years, the NGAA is demanding collaboration and alignment between all levels of government to respond to the current housing shortage.

With an ever-increasing infrastructure gap, NGAA can reveal a brutally honest reflection of life in Australia’s fastest growing outer metro cities and suburbs.

“It beggars belief that in 2024 new homes are being built without connected sewerage in Australia’s capital cities. Access to essential infrastructure such as wastewater should be a given for all Australian households,” states NGAA Chair, Councillor Matthew Deeth, Deputy Mayor of Wollondilly Shire Council. 

“Thousands of residents in Wilton in outer south-west Sydney, an area rezoned for 12,000 houses by the NSW Government and in planned development for a decade, are having their sewerage trucked out as Sydney Water is not able to deliver the necessary infrastructure. 

“Further development is likely to grind to a complete halt – in the middle of a housing crisis. This is just one example of a state mandated growth area being progressed by one arm of government and held back by another.”

Growth area councils, who are well versed in meeting rapid, large scale housing demand, are continuing to meet and surpass planning approval targets. As thousands of people continue to move to cities and suburbs in our outer metropolitan areas, greenfield development requires focused attention and focused investment.  
“While the National Housing Accord targets remain ambitious, the mandate to increase density is not the silver bullet governments were hoping for: infill development takes time and comes with a hefty price tag,” said NGAA CEO Bronwen Clark.

“Australia’s new and emerging housing corridors in Western and South-West Sydney and across all state capitals hold at least 25 years’ greenfield development supply.  A successful new community relies on a partnership, and for outer suburbs to realise their potential NGAA Member Councils need infrastructure to be delivered to enable their areas to grow.

“As we’ve said before, people need more than a house. By prioritising funding in Australia’s fastest growing outer cities and suburbs, State and Federal Governments would be addressing the chronic lag in infrastructure and services that currently exist, as well as unlocking extra housing supply.” 

Examples of housing supply being slowed in South-West Sydney include:

  • Bringing forward the infrastructure investment planned for 2032 in the Upper Nepean Advanced Water Recycling Plant and east/west road connections to support the greenfield growth south of Macarthur train station, could fast-track the delivery of 45,000 homes in Campbelltown and Wollondilly LGA’s
  • The development of a metro rail line in Camden would significantly ease traffic congestion and meet the transport needs of current and future residents. The growth of the area was driven, in large part, by the promise of rail connectivity, which to date has remained unfunded and uncommitted, despite offers from a private developer to assist in part of the construction.
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