It’s Population, Stupid – Again
Local government and state government – Warringah and Macquarie Street in this case – are at odds because councils have been told they must plan for population growth and a local member doesn’t like the walk-up flats his council has settled on. The local member happens to be Planning Minister, Brad Hazzard. His council is Warringah on Sydney’s northern beaches.
The new Premier Barry O’Farrell is a supporter of a Big Australia which can be taken to mean an intake of between 400,000 and 500,000 per annum.
Well, let’s say it again. Increase population and cities go out and up. Sprawl occurs and densities rise. Canberra settles on a figure and state and local government have to live with it – and revise plans accordingly.
Barry can’t be a Big Australia supporter and an advocate of low density living. The two do not go together.
The councils were told by the previous government that they must plan for a 40 percent population rise by 2036. Yes, that reflects Canberra decision-making in favour of high intakes. (Canberra incidentally has the lowest density of any Australian city – that’s where the people live who settle on high immigration and they never face the consequences). For Warringah a 40 percent rise in population means 10,000 new houses. The council has settled on three and four story flats in the suburb of Naraweena as the way of achieving that.
The council is entitled to remind the government of infrastructure promises held out by the Coalition but never quite lodged in funded policy specifics – like a bus transitway to the northern beaches.
Housing and infrastructure are in the fine print whenever you hear someone champion a Big Australia.
You want a Big Australia. Live with the consequences.