Sydney needs services, not just a rising population

October 8, 2013 • News


THE central policy challenge for NSW is maintaining our quality of life in the face of a rapidly rising population.

Everyone knows Sydney is already bursting at the seams. Hospital waiting rooms are full. School class sizes are on the up. Our suburbs are inching further out.

Yet all of this is before our State braces to absorb another 2 million people between now and 2031 – the official population projection that Premier Barry O’Farrell recently endorsed for NSW.

The State Government says the growth will come from two sources. A net 700,000 rise in our existing population and another 1.3 million due to overseas migration – with Sydney to absorb three quarters of the increase.

The Government projects 86,600 more people in Penrith, 83,800 in Parramatta and 82,600 in Campbelltown.

Or take an established area like Sutherland Shire – in 20 years’ time, the Government plans to cram in another 43,000 people. Yet it has no concern for how this will affect quality of life in one of the most precious and unique areas of Sydney.

My view is clear. If the Government sets the target, it can’t just leave local residents to deal with the impacts.

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