Friday, July 26, 2024

LGNSW calls for housing supply pipeline clarity

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President, Darriea Turley AM, has welcomed the release of a planning league table for councils, but says the NSW Government needs to provide more detail and an accurate evaluation of all players in the housing supply pipeline.

President Turley said that while local government played an important role in planning for new housing supply, it did not build houses and could not control the number of dwellings actually built by private or government landowners or the time taken by the government to respond to council referrals.

“Local government continues to stand ready to play our part, with other players in the housing supply pipeline being held to account for their role in the process too,” she said.

“Councils are just one of several players in the housing supply pipeline and while local government continues to approve 97% of all DAs, they play a limited role in the housing construction and completion stages, which are driven by the market.

“Additionally, councils don’t control the speed of responses from NSW Government departments involved in the process.”

A league table for councils won’t lift the performance of every part of the housing eco-system, President Turley said.

“To boost housing supply, all of the different players need to be held to account.”

“It’s welcome that the NSW Government will be monitoring and reporting on the performance of its own departments.

“The NSW Government should also publish the rezoned dwelling capacity across the state and the volume of DAs approved but where construction has not commenced or been completed. This will help to identify where market conditions such as access to finance, escalating construction costs or land banking by developers need government attention.

“These indicators will go a long way to seeing how effectively the government and the development sector are responding to the housing crisis.”

President Turley said councils understood the challenges and were working incredibly hard with limited resources and skills shortages.

“Councils are doing anything and everything within their means to improve performance while ensuring they continue to look for the best planning outcomes for their current and future communities, including the provision of much needed community infrastructure.”

She said LGNSW would welcome the State Government highlighting councils that are performing well against the measures set out in the league table, while working to understand the particular challenges faced by other councils and determining appropriate levels of support.

“As the department’s own website notes, there is a range of reasons why timeframe performance may vary between councils, and these can include the volume, type and complexity of development applications, and the proportion of those development applications requiring concurrences from the NSW Government.”

“The league table data also doesn’t account for the days and weeks councils are waiting for responses to requests for additional information.

“Skills shortages and a council’s resourcing can also play a role, meaning the league table data does not tell the whole story.

“We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the NSW Government and the private sector to find solutions to the housing crisis,” said President Turley.

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