Victorian election result demonstrates championing growth can be a winner: Urban Taskforce's Chris Johnson

Victorian election result demonstrates championing growth can be a winner: Urban Taskforce's Chris Johnson
Victorian election result demonstrates championing growth can be a winner: Urban Taskforce's Chris Johnson

EXPERT OBSERVATION

The Victorian election victory by Labor demonstrates that championing growth with infrastructure provision succeeds over scare tactics on immigration.

In the lead up to last weekend’s Victorian election the state opposition proposed immigration cuts to relieve overcrowding in a similar approach to that promoted by the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

But the voters rejected the negative spin put on growth and preferred the more positive approach of Premier Daniel Andrews to build more infrastructure to manage the growth.

There is clearly an important lesson for political parties in New South Wales from the Victorian election results.

It appears that voters prefer the positive approach to managing growth to build a better future city with new infrastructure rather than an approach that halves immigration and slows down growth.

Many voters are positive about the booming economy that comes with growth and the swing to a more Urban city that is occurring in Melbourne and Sydney.

The Urban Taskforce believes that NSW politicians need to champion positive ways to manage growth rather than the recent examples of the government backing down on its own plans in Ryde, the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor and the back down on the code for terrace houses.

It is also important that the NSW Opposition does not exploit fears about the changing nature of Sydney and focus on development as being a problem when it is clearly responding to community needs.

The anti-development rhetoric that many politicians are using in the lead up to the state election next March is generating a negative environment in the planning system at state government and council levels which is reducing confidence in the development sector.

The result is a big slow-down in housing approvals which will inevitably lead to less new homes being built over future years and therefore housing prices going up.

Both the NSW government and the opposition need to develop better messaging about the benefits to the economy of growth and immigration and how this can lead to an even better built environment.

Sydney is going through its biggest restructure in a hundred years as it swings from a low rise suburban city to a city that becomes much more Urban with more apartment dwellers.

The 2016 census demonstrated that 30 percent of Sydney’s homes are now apartments located in more Urban areas.

The politicians must take this 30 percent of voters into account in their messaging as they are likely to become half of all voters within the next 40 years.

CHRIS JOHNSON is the CEO of Urban Taskforce Australia

Tags: 
Victoria Election

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