(Question Without Notice, 18 September 2014, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)
Question: My question is directed to the Minister for Planning. With the inner city focus on urban growth, will the Government ensure that future development provides social infrastructure, including child care, high schools, open space and affordable housing for the projected and existing adjacent populations?
Response from Pru Goward: I thank the member for Sydney for his question. Finally it is a question about planning, which is music to my ears. After five months in the job I have not had a single question from the Labor Party so I very much welcome the question from the member. Regrettably, the member misunderstood the Government's priority. The premise of the question is that the Sydney central business district [CBD] is the focus of the Government's urban renewal program. I guess, as all good members do, the member for Sydney thinks that the Sydney CBD is the centre of the universe.
Those caught up in the inner-city lefty political vortex believe the world begins and ends with Sydney but to his credit we know that the member for Sydney and his friend the Lord Mayor are passionate about all issues great and small—like urban cat colonies, as we heard on 11 September, and stopping businesses having a vote in council elections. We were here until all hours last night ensuring that businesses do have a say. Of course we know that the member cares about issues great and small, like the sale of animals in pet shops; we hear it frequently from the Clerk.
Alex Greenwich: Point of order: My point of order is under Standing Order 129. The question was not, surprisingly, about pet shops or Clover; it was about social infrastructure and planning in the inner city. It was quite clear.
The Speaker: Order! I ask the Minister to return to the leave of the question. The point of order is upheld.
Pru Goward: The question about urban renewal really is not just about Sydney, but about the whole of the metropolitan area. Members will remember that I was joined by the Premier in front of the iconic White Bay power station to announce the beginning of The Bays Precinct Urban Renewal Program. We will transform The Bays Precinct 2.6 kilometres of waterfront land to create new housing, new recreation, and new retail and tourism in Sydney's inner west. That is the biggest urban renewal program since the 2000 Olympics. We then have the Central to Eveleigh initiative, which has the potential to transform the southern end of the Sydney CBD and make a significant contribution to meeting the future needs of Sydney's residents, including child care and businesses.
Just around the corner at North Eveleigh the Government has recently delivered 88 affordable housing units through UrbanGrowth and City West Housing. This is the result of the $32 million received from the redevelopment of the Carlton United Brewery site. But the Government is not focused just on Sydney; that would be foolish. The Government is focused on rebuilding the entire State. After 16 very long years of Labor neglect and incompetence New South Wales is finally on track again. We are transforming New South Wales by planning for the future for major centres outside the Sydney CBD to take pressure off the CBD.
We are recognising Parramatta's destiny as Sydney's second CBD. With an outstanding local member, Geoff Lee, we are building Parramatta into an economic and residential centre and powerhouse by breathing new life into that city. I give the example of the transformative urban renewal project at Parramatta North, a groundbreaking project that will put heritage and homes side by side, and open up to the community access to some of Australia's most exciting urban heritage assets. We are a Government that is planning for the future, a future of extensive population growth, and the recent announcements of the urban activation precincts at Kellyville, Bella Vista and Showground in Castle Hill are a part of that—precincts that could support 19,000 additional jobs and 12,000 new homes with a mix of housing types, including townhouses, detached homes and apartments.
The current program of urban activation precincts has the potential to provide more than 54,000 new homes, jobs and infrastructure—54,000 new homes near jobs, 54,000 new homes near transport links, 54,000 new homes to add to the 100,000 new homes that have been built since we came to office. This is a Government cleaning up the mess and the failure to plan for Sydney by a Labor Party that had no solutions. The member for Sydney can see from this answer that there is a world beyond the cycleways and cat colonies.