Infrastructure plan raises concerns about ageing population: Urban Taskforce

The State Infrastructure Plan produced by Infrastructure NSW (INSW) while outlining a forward program of projects has raised concerns about the ageing population in NSW.

The detailed plan by Infrastructure NSW raises concerns about the fact that the NSW population is getting older and this will reduce income from taxation.

The number of people over 70 will increase by 85 percent by 2036 according to INSW. This will increase health services by 50 percent while less people will be contributing taxes.

A fundamental change will occur in how Sydney siders operate over the next 20 years with INSW predicting that train trips will almost double from 1.1 million now to 2.1 million in 2036.

Surprisingly INSW predicts that electricity consumption will only increase by 2 percent by 2036.

INSW calls for the government to make better use of government owned land in terms of development.

They have recommended that the Department of Planning and Environment establish by 2020 a housing and employment supply pipeline to ensure a 5 year supply. This will require action on zoning and on the development pipeline.

One recommendation (No 12) by INSW is that Major Project Planning approvals must be improved as they take too long and this adds to the cost.

The Urban Taskforce agrees totally with INSW that major projects need a much better approval process that the current slow and complex process.

They also call for ways to reduce bid costs for major project procurement.

INSW raise concerns about value capture by saying ‘In most cases it will not have a transformational impact on the funding equation.'

There is some visionary ideas about the use of digital data with suggestions that NSW could learn from Singapore in this regard.

With over 100 recommendations, mainly to other NSW Government agencies, there is a lot of content in the State Infrastructure Plan and its repeated references to the Regional Plan for Sydney and the Transport Plan for Sydney and for NSW.

It is good to see a number of NSW Government agencies working together.

The Urban Taskforce is keen to work with all of the NSW Government agencies to ensure Sydney grows in a sustainable manner.

Chris Johnson is the Urban Taskforce CEO

NSW Population Trends

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