Business Sydney today called for the appointment of a dedicated Minister for Sydney to lead the response to the housing crisis including increasing the resident population of the CBD.
Executive Director Paul Nicolaou said a Minister for Sydney could coordinate the dual responsibilities of the NSW Government and the Council of the City of Sydney.
“Increasing the CBD population is vital to support the city’s economic recovery and to facilitate a pipeline of affordable housing so that essential workers can live closer to where they work,” Mr Nicolaou said.
“A Minister for Sydney could ensure that this is achieved effectively by harnessing the resources of the government and the council.
“This includes accelerating the planning and approval process to give the green light to projects and the start of construction.
“Council also has a big role to play in identifying existing building stock that can be repurposed for housing.
“As the CBD population grows, the government will need to coordinate provision of necessary services including schools.”
Mr Nicolaou said it was a sad reality that Melbourne had stolen a march on Sydney in deliberately increasing its CBD population.
The 2021 Census showed that Melbourne had a CBD population of 43,000 but Sydney had only 28,000. In the 1990s, authorities in Victoria had embarked on a strategy to build Melbourne’s CBD population.
“Sydney can catch up to Melbourne and surpass it in having more people living in the heart of the city,” Mr Nicolaou said.
“But the task will be made easier by having a Minister for Sydney to drive and coordinate the effort.
“Having more people living in the CBD will help to make Sydney a liveable 24-hour city providing economic opportunities for its businesses and jobs for thousands.”