$5b to build on city fringe, says report

15/02/2012 10:55 pm


A report commissioned by the former Labor government, but never made public, reveals cost of shifting the balance of new development in Sydney away from existing areas in favour of the city fringe could be as much as $5 billion over the next 25 years

The report, by the Centre for International Economics modelled the cost of three scenarios for development in Sydney to 2036, which is the scope of the existing Metropolitan Strategy and sought to estimate the costs or savings to the government of other development ratios.

The analysis concludes that if a 50-50 ratio was pursued, the cost to government would be $4.99 billion. This comprised an extra $1.78 billion in connecting transport and an additional $542 million in transport infrastructure and congestion when compared with the existing 70-30 split.

The extra cost of physical infrastructure is put at $724 million. Social infrastructure costs are found to be $58 million lower, mainly due to the cost of land in existing areas. A figure of $279 million was also plucked out for 'environmental costs'.

The loss of ''transformation benefits'' is estimated to be $1.7 billion. Conversely, a development ratio of 90 per cent in existing areas and 10 per cent at the fringe was estimated to provide savings of $795 million to 2036 when compared with the existing split.

The president of the organisation of councils, Alison McLaren, a Labor councillor, said a shift to more fringe development would damage western Sydney. However, Mrs. McLaren did not comment on whether housing affordability in Sydney would continue to be damaged without a shift to fringe development.


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