LGNSW Encourages All Players To Be Held To Account

Local Government NSW President Cr Darriea Turley AM says she welcomes the opportunity for transparency offered by the new State Government planning league table and encourages the NSW Government to go further to provide a greater level of detail and a more accurate evaluation of all players in the housing supply pipeline.

Cr Turley said that while local government played an important role in planning for new housing supply, it did not build houses and could not control the number of dwellings actually built by private or government landowners or the time taken by the government to respond to council referrals.

"Local government continues to stand ready to play our part, with other players in the housing supply pipeline being held to account for their role in the process too," Cr Turley said.

"Councils are just one of several players in the housing supply pipeline and while local government continues to approve 97% of all DAs, they play a limited role in the housing construction and completion stages, which are driven by the market.

"Additionally, councils don't control the speed of responses from NSW Government departments involved in the process.

"A league table for councils won't lift the performance of every part of the housing eco-system. To boost housing supply, all of the different players need to be held to account.

"It's welcome that the NSW Government will be monitoring and reporting on the performance of its own departments.

"The NSW Government should also publish the rezoned dwelling capacity across the state and the volume of DAs approved but where construction has not commenced or been completed. This will help to identify where market conditions such as access to finance, escalating construction costs or land banking by developers need government attention.

"These indicators will go a long way to seeing how effectively the government and the development sector are responding to the housing crisis."

Cr Turley said councils understood the challenges and were working incredibly hard with limited resources and skills shortages.

"Councils are doing anything and everything within their means to improve performance while ensuring they continue to look for the best planning outcomes for their current and future communities, including the provision of much needed community infrastructure," Cr Turley said.

LGNSW would welcome the State Government highlighting councils that are performing well against the measures set out in the league table, while working to understand the particular challenges faced by other councils and determining appropriate levels of support.

"As the department's own website notes, there is a range of reasons why timeframe performance may vary between councils, and these can include the volume, type and complexity of development applications, and the proportion of those development applications requiring concurrences from the NSW Government," Cr Turley said.

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