The NSW Opposition’s unwelcome support for greater urban sprawl will degrade the environment, leave communities lumbered with poor transport options and is in no way a sustainable solution for dealing with Sydney’s projected population increase, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
At a leader’s forum in Penrith yesterday (February 7), NSW Opposition leader Barry O’Farrell’s signalled a backward step with plans to accommodate housing growth with more land releases on the fringes of the city in preference to medium and high density development near public transport infrastructure.
“The natural environment and productive farmland on the edges of Sydney are too valuable for the future wellbeing of our city to be put under further pressure by Opposition leader Barry O’Farrell’s ill-conceived plans for housing growth,” Nature Conservation Council of NSW Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said today.
“The Opposition leader’s plan for increased development on greenfields sites is an unstable foundation that will lock in more car dependent communities and increase air pollution. It ignores the vital need to reduce carbon pollution, improve air quality, reduce unnecessary freight and passenger movement, and increase economic efficiency.
“Integrating sensitive housing development around existing public transport hubs and their existing community infrastructure supports harmonious communities that are low-impact, well-connected and better places to live.
“The next term of government is a crucial chance for Sydney to unshackle itself from a metropolitan strategy that has gone backwards since 2005, and become a true leader in sustainable urban development and environment protection.
“The people of NSW deserve better than a planning strategy built on the mistaken belief that Sydney can grow forever, not building or planning sustainably, and not providing a workable strategy to protect our natural environment,” he said.
Photo: Giles Douglas