Monday, 30 October 2017 12:26

Message from the President: Greater Sydney Commission

WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali.

Just a few days ago the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) released its eagerly-awaited draft Sydney Region Plan (SR Plan); a vision to 2056.

WSROC will be conducting a formal review of the Plan in due course, but I commend the GSC in its efforts to engage with local government and the benefits of doing so are evident throughout its analysis, strategies, and recommendations.

One of the most significant is the recognition of waste as an essential service – of equal importance to water and energy. While the importance of waste is clear to councils who manage it day to day, waste is very rarely acknowledged as a critical service in a state planning document – with resulting issues for planning and affordability.

A stronger focus on place and place management is also evident in the document, reflecting a local government – style approach to development. This includes looking at the interrelationship between projects from various portfolios and using community feedback to guide future action plans.

The draft Plan outlines a number of potential rail links for Western Sydney including several connecting our region with Western Sydney Airport and the Central City. We are very pleased to see a focus on corridor preservation however, the timeframes for these links – particularly public transport – need further review.

The concurrently released document, Future Transport 2056, does not take enough guidance from the Sydney Region Plan and time scales for infrastructure are completely out of step of projected growth in Greater Western Sydney.

The Greater Sydney Commission strongly states urban heat as a key stressor for our city, and Western Sydney in particular. In line with WSROC’s Turn Down the Heat initiative, the Plan recommends preserving and increasing urban green cover and water management in our cities.

However, this is just one part of the equation. WSROC would also like to see stronger emphasis on the design of buildings and public spaces to mitigate and cope with the impacts of urban heat.

Other areas requiring more detail include local infrastructure and social outcomes. The difference between enabling infrastructure and social infrastructure needs to be explicitly defined and treated as separate, but interrelating issues.

While the GSC Plan touches on many of the issues in our region, a clear vision for both public and private sectors, it is clear that we will need significantly more detail and stronger actions to ensure these issues can be properly addressed.


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Last modified on Tuesday, 31 October 2017 12:34