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Greens loom as road block

Recent statements by the NSW Greens have contained anti-development sentiments that can only lead to less housing and fewer jobs in the state.

The Greens advocate for public transport but not for the urban densities that make it viable. They seem to want a sustainable city but without the growth in housing and jobs that must accompany our increasing population.

They have recently attacked the NSW government's planning reforms as being "pro-development" and a "green light for developers" with the presumption this is somehow not in the interests of communities.

But NSW is producing only half the number of new houses on a per-capita basis compared with Victoria, and far fewer than Queensland. What the Greens don't seem to understand is that development is actually about housing and work environments. Development is about investment that leads to new jobs and new homes.

The Greens seem to want no new development near existing communities and are drumming up a fear campaign against change and against urban renewal. It is, however, increased densities closer to work and public transport that make cities more sustainable.

The Greens say they are standing up for local communities. What they are really doing is robbing communities of new housing for their children and future generations, robbing the local community of new work places and eliminating multiple jobs in the building industry for carpenters, bricklayers, electricians and plumbers.


A genuine, Green sustainable agenda would support housing development close to public transport, would want future generations to have somewhere to live and to work. NSW needs to catch up with the other states in terms of housing supply and jobs provision.

The Greens seem to want NSW to go backwards, to stop all development and to promote their own version of a planning system that frustrates the development of new buildings. This seems an irresponsible approach to managing our urban future.

It is too easy to simply bash developers. What NSW needs is leadership to ensure we have a sustainable future. The NSW government's planning reforms are heading in this direction but the Greens seem more interested in a populist, fear-driven, anti-growth and anti-development approach.

Chris Johnson is chief executive of Urban Taskforce Australia