GSC report highlights need to protect industrial and urban services land

A new report released by the Greater Sydney Commission has highlighted the economic significance of industrial and urban services lands in Greater Sydney, suggesting that it needs to be preserved to meet the city's industrial and supply needs.

The report, A Metropolis that Works, builds on the Greater Sydney Region Plan, which sets out the retention, enhancement and evolution of industrial and urban services land as priorities for the Region.

Industrial and urban services lands are where we make, build, fix and repairs things, and supply the goods required for these activities as locally as possible.

Deputy Chief and Economic Commissioner Geoff Roberts said that managing and supporting Greater Sydney’s valuable industrial and services lands requires a precautionary approach and, where appropriate, protection from competing land uses.

“To continue to be a globally successful city, we need to be a working city – Greater Sydney needs spaces that allow us to make, create and innovate.

“The data tells us the industrial and urban services sector is growing, providing more jobs and making a key contribution to our city’s economy.

“In fact, Greater Sydney’s industrial and urban services lands added almost $84 billion in gross value between 2011 and 2016,” Mr Roberts said.

Only eight per cent of land across Greater Sydney is presently zoned for non-residential uses. However, these areas generate 19 per cent of all jobs across the Region and in some Districts this proportion may be as high as 37 per cent.

The report notes that The Property Council of Australia has expressed concern to the Commission that, with take-up rates of industrial land at approximately 150 hectares per annum across Greater Sydney, the currently available 295 hectares represents less than two years forward supply and argues that critical shortages have led to dramatic land price increases in the Western Parkland City over the last two years.

A Metropolis that Works highlights the need for an intelligent approach to land use decisions, warning that industrial and urban services lands are integral to successful, growing cities and relinquishing them in the face of shorter term imperatives is likely to be costly in the long run.

The report is available here.

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