Bob Carr at the Planning Institute of Australia’s annual NSW conference
As a former Planning Minister (1984-88) I’ve praised the planning profession. I told 200 planners that on the North Coast I had seen the benefits of the controls and regulations we had fought for in the 80s – saving the vast upland rainforests, protection of wetlands and littoral rainforests, protection of headlands, big additional coastal national parks. Good planning is reflected again in Western Sydney Parkland, a stunning new urban park created in bits and pieces over the decades as a result of planning intervention.
Other planning successes are the 2004 BASIX policy which has reduced water and energy consumption in new housing by 40% and leads Australia. The state also leads Australia on the rate of urban consolidation with 70% of new accommodation being constructed in existing areas, not thrown up on the urban fringe. In Melbourne by contrast, over 50% of new accommodation is built in greenfield areas. The Design Guidelines for Residential Flats is another example of a successful outcome achieved by planning intervention in this state.
I told them to ignore the facile argument that we could have over-ambitious immigration “if we just had Planning.” The fact is we have a serious, robust metropolitan strategy and there is no magic wand to ease the pressures created by a sudden decision to double the migrant intake.