Canterbury Bankstown Mayor Bilal El-Hayek said his Council will fight “tooth and nail” to ensure the proposed planning changes delivers quality housing for his City without affecting the quality of life.
“From the outset, I want to make it clear that I am supportive of the Premier’s passion in addressing the housing crisis, but his passion should not ignore the haphazard planning reforms being rushed through,” Mayor El-Hayek said.
“These are generational changes which will impact our children into the future, and we must get it right”.
Mayor El-Hayek said there had been little, or no community consultation or engagement, and as the details of the proposed changes filter through there will be a massive backlash.
“In R2 zones, which covers most properties, duplexes will be permissible on blocks with a minimum of 12 metre frontages. Streets will be congested, with little or no parking and limited accessibility. Our streets will be turned into rabbit warrens, bottlenecks and frustrated drivers.
Mayor El-Hayek said he was most concerned about the lack of any detail or information which would address the education, transport, social and environmental needs of the community.
“We are expected to house more than 300,000 people but there is a deafening silence when it comes to how many schools, preschools, day care centres which will be needed. There is no mention of road improvements, or infrastructure to deal with our already congested roads.
“And what about parking spaces, parks and playgrounds and our precious trees which provide a cooler and healthier environment. Then there is the issue of our growing waste and the cost to dispose of it. These are just some of the issues.”
Mayor El-Hayek said he was not opposed to density as long it was done right and with proper engagement and consultation with the community.
“Our Council is way ahead of other Councils when it comes to Master Planning for our major centres and providing for our future housing needs. We did all the work and our vision and plans for Bankstown and Campsie have been sitting with the NSW Planning Department gathering dust for two years. In fact, our planning work at Campsie received several industry awards for excellence.
Mayor El-Hayek said he will be taking a number of initiatives to the next Council meeting including seeking legal advice on challenging the proposed changes, a social media and awareness campaign and other measures.
He will also be writing to the Premier seeking an urgent meeting and will engage with neighbouring Councils and western Sydney Mayors on a way forward to tackle these proposed changes which impact generations to come.
For more information, visit cb.city/NSWHousingPolicy