12 February 2024

Today, the NSW Liberal and National Opposition has been called on to detail their plan to increase housing supply in NSW after being caught out misleading the public about planning reforms that will give more people access to desperately needed housing.

This comes as it’s been revealed that the Opposition Spokesperson denied an offer to even be briefed on the reforms.

Scott Farlow, the Opposition Spokesperson for Planning and Public Spaces and Housing this morning stated, “[The Premier] claimed that Councils can refuse development - they can’t.”

This is false.

The Government’s reforms will mean that Councils must consider additional housing types like terraces, manor houses, low and midrise apartments as well as create more space for housing through dual occupancies.

However, councils still retain power to assess and refuse developments on a range of grounds including flooding, bushfire, traffic, parking, landscaping, amenity, heritage, set-backs, minimum sizes of rooms, windows, privacy, light, water, sewage, stormwater capacity and more.

This comes despite the Opposition Planning Spokesperson Scott Farlow having previously championed changes such as these stating: ‘The option of an accelerated approval pathway for low-rise and medium-rise apartments in suitably zoned areas could potentially lead to the delivery of more homes sooner and is supported by the Opposition.’

In addition, only last December the NSW Opposition Leader, Mark Speakman said: ‘The Opposition is in furious agreement with ramping up housing supply’.

While the NSW Opposition are choosing to spread misinformation and put politics before action to deliver more housing, the NSW Government is addressing the housing crisis in our state.

The housing types that the NSW Government is proposing are part of Sydney’s history and used to be great options for young people to get into the housing market.

With seventy two per cent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 in NSW believing they will never be able to buy a house, and countless more unable to even rent one – the Opposition are playing politics with the future of our state.

While Sydney is currently the 859th least dense city in the world, it remains the 2nd most expensive housing market.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully said:

“I offered Scott Farlow a brief on these reforms, and he said no, so it’s no wonder he’s confused.

“Council’s will now be required to consider developments including terraces, small apartment blocks and dual occupancies in their communities.

“Councils can still assess and refuse development on a whole range of grounds like light and space and design and to say they can’t, is nothing short of scaremongering.

“So, the Opposition Spokesperson’s claim that councils can’t refuse development is false.

“Diversity of housing is at its lowest in 100 years.

“Our reforms deliver more housing so that young people, emergency workers and families can get a roof over their head.

“I’ll defend that every day of the week over attempts by the Opposition to play politics.”