Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:11

MediDon’t sacrifice parks to cut new housing costs – WSROC

Media Release 4 November 2011

Cutting the number of parks and green spaces required in new housing areas will not solve the housing affordability crisis, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils said yesterday.


WSROC President, Clr Alison McLaren, said reports that the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal were considering reducing the provision of green space in a bid to reduce the costs to developers showed the pricing regulator was ignoring the needs of the people who were expected to buy into the new estates.

“What IPART needs to remember is that we are not talking about creating cut-price housing estates, we are talking about building communities,” she said.

“Local parks are where children play and people walk their dogs, green spaces provide shade and climate protection and places for picnics and neighbourhood footy games.

“These parks and community spaces are vital to building communities, they provide places for people to meet and share their spaces and their lives.

“Western Sydney already has significant problems with unhealthy lifestyles and obesity issues, reducing the access to local recreational space will worsen this problem.”

“And as anyone who has spent a summer in Western Sydney knows, cutting down trees and building homes and hard spaces create heat sinks, which the green spaces are vital to offset. Without green spaces and parks these new estates will become unbearably hot – placing a huge new demand on our energy supplies for air conditioning and cooling.

“Not only will people not want to live there – but they won’t be able to afford the electricity bills if they do.”

Clr McLaren said councils were well aware that providing and maintaining these areas came at a significant cost to both the councils and the developers of the new housing areas, and was pleased that the IPART  was looking at the issue of how infrastructure would be provided in new release areas.

“But cutting out green spaces is not the answer – it’s a short-sighted cost-cutting approach which does nothing to promote the liveability of these new estates.

“These new development areas are not just about building lots of houses to meet their target of 30,000 a year,” Clr Mclaren said.

“They are about creating homes and communities, places where people live. Green spaces and parks are integral to making these areas pleasant and attractive to live in.

“The Government needs to look closely at the whole issue of providing community and transport infrastructure to these new-release areas and work with councils and developers to come up with viable solutions for funding their creation and maintenance,” Clr McLaren said.




Contact: Clr Alison McLaren, WSROC President on 0410 441 842
Media Inquiries Karin Bishop, Deputy CEO on 0417 239 539

Last modified on Thursday, 26 September 2013 12:26

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