Report on the July meeting

Draft City of Sydney Employment Lands Strategy – Tamara Bruckshaw, Senior Specialist Planner.

Employment Strategy needs to balance a number of objectives.  Land zoned for industrial use is less valuable than land zoned for residential, so land-owners are keen to see rezonings.  At the same time, increases in the price of industrial land drives industrial activity further west, and much of this activity is supporting other activities in this area, for eg, the Green Square development needs a large supply of concrete. If that isn’t produced locally, it needs to be trucked in from elsewhere, with all that implies for increased congestion and polution.

The government requires the City to plan for an increase of 109,000 jobs by  2031, mostly in the CBD, with 7,000 planned for the Green Square area.

Overall, the balance is shifting away from industrial, and towards commercial and mixed, although mixed includes residential, so the effect is likely to be much the same as if it were zoned residential.

There are four more studies coming:

  •   Traffic and Transport, in conjunction with the RMS
  • Social Sustainability, which will look at a range of things including schools
  •   Urban Design, including heights and floor space ratios
  •   Economic Feasibility

We are also encouraged to look at the Airport Master Plan, which is on exhibition now. (See and

Proposed Council Amalgamation – Deputy Lord Mayor Robyn Kemmis

There are currently two proposals under consideration, the Sansom review, and the Metro Strategy.  They both propose mergers, but different mergers.  Neither provides a cost-benefit analysis of mergers.

For the smallest councils, there are savings to  be had, but for councils that are already as large as the City of Sydney, there are few gains in becoming larger still. (The proposed mergers would create a council with more residents than are in Tasmania.)

Unlike, for example, Brisbane, the expanded council would not have the authority to develop infrastructure, and remember that the current State Government will not allow the City the authority to build even a bikepath.

Metro Strategy – Geoff Turnbull, REDWatch

What makes the Metro Strategy different to what has come before is the New Planning System – it gives the Metro Strategy far more power.  It allows developers to override Local Development Plans, and probably allows them to ignore Heritage concerns as well.