Call for single agency for Western Sydney infrastructure development

The Urban Taskforce has reinforced a call by the former NSW Premier John Fahey for a single, high level agency to control infrastructure delivery for Western Sydney.

“Currently the developers providing new housing in greenfield areas of Western Sydney find that there is little coordination of the multiple state government agencies who deliver infrastructure,” says Urban Taskforce CEO, Chris Johnson.

“It seems to be left to each developer to coordinate with the agencies that deliver roads, sewers, water and electricity rather than having a single agency ensuring all of this infrastructure delivery is managed efficiently.”

“Former Premier Fahey has stated that multiple authorities should answer to a single boss through a coordinator general working for the Premier. Mr Fahey is reported as saying that Western Sydney needs ‘a coordinator general with wide-ranging powers to go around councils and various agencies and to bring them to the party, without delays.’ The Urban Taskforce agrees completely with this proposition and that it is required immediately as the current system is at the mercy of different infrastructure agencies.”

“The coordination role for the City Deal announced by the NSW Premier at the recent Aerotropolis Conference, where Geoff Roberts will take on this role, may be what Mr Fahey is considering but it needs to relate to a broad range of greenfield land release areas for housing as well as a jobs focus.”

“The Aerotropolis seems to be mainly about jobs for Western Sydney that are very much needed but the delivery of new housing is equally important. A stronger state government role that ensures efficient delivery of infrastructure like roads, sewer, water and electricity is desperately needed.

“The Queensland Government has established the State Assessment and Referral Authority (SARA) to give a single point of contact for those developing new housing to ensure all infrastructure is coordinated properly. The NSW Government should look at this example in its response to former Premier Fahey’s proposals.”

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