Warning of Sydney land shortage

The New South Wales Urban Taskforce, a developers' lobby group, claims that the shortage of land in Sydney will drive house prices up even further and make housing even more unaffordable.

The task force states, in a submission to the Premier's infrastructure council, that government population projections are too conservative, that inner and middle areas of Sydney are almost exhausted and the release of lots on the city's fringes is falling behind schedule.

The task force recommends setting up government-private sector partnerships to open up land more quickly and the introduction of tax concessions to encourage infrastructure development.

Based on the task force's research, Sydney will need an additional 389,000 new homes by 2016, 50 per cent of them on the city's fringe. The Government is planning for only 130,000 new homes and has only identified 90,000 new lots for release.

The Minister for Planning responded by saying that the task force did not understand the issue and that the infrastructure council is already working with Macquarie Bank and other financial institutions on funding models. Dr Refshauge also said that he is chairing a committee to co-ordinate land release.