Don’t be dense, there’s noth­ing to fear

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - THE BIG SQUEEZE -

DON’T fear den­sity. That’s the mes­sage from Plan­ning Min­is­ter An­thony Roberts, who has hit back at ac­cu­sa­tions his gov­ern­ment had opened the flood­gates to overde­vel­op­ment and al­lowed the cre­ation of high-rise “mon­strosi­ties”.

With just months un­til the March 23 state elec­tion, overde­vel­op­ment, pop­u­la­tion growth and con­ges­tion have be­come ma­jor pres­sure points for the Bere­jik­lian Gov­ern­ment.

But Mr Roberts said in­creas­ing pop­u­la­tion den­sity with in­fra­struc­ture was noth­ing to worry about of it­self.

“Some of the most live­able sub­urbs in Syd­ney are also some of the most dense, in­clud­ing El­iz­a­beth Bay, Padding­ton and Kir­ri­billi,” he said. “We do not have to have a city where ev­ery­thing is around the Syd­ney CBD it­self. That is our legacy. When I was at univer­sity in the ’90s we would have friends trav­el­ling from Pen­rith to Broad­way be­cause that was the only place where they could go to univer­sity.

“Now we have uni­ver­si­ties in Black­town and Pen­rith where peo­ple are three min­utes away from univer­sity.”

How­ever, NSW Op­po­si­tion plan­ning spokes­woman Ta­nia Mi­hailuk said the gov­ern­ment had been asleep at the wheel.

“The Lib­er­als have had am­ple op­por­tu­nity to re­form the plan­ning sys­tem … at best they’ve tin­kered around the edges while open­ing the flood­gates to ram­pant overde­vel­op­ment in many parts of Syd­ney,” she said. “Syd­ney is a grow­ing global city but un­der this gov­ern­ment’s watch there has been ab­so­lutely no ef­fort put into man­ag­ing this growth.”

Ms Mi­hailuk blamed the gov­ern­ment for al­low­ing “mon­strosi­ties”, where apart­ment blocks crowd the foot­path and be­come an eye­sore in­stead of a cen­tre­piece.

An­thony Roberts.

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