Local government representatives in the Northern Rivers have expressed doubts over the state government’s new Housing 2041 Strategy.
NSW Housing Minister Melinda Pavey announced the strategy last week.
The so-called ‘action plan’ includes a publicly available database of all government-owned land in NSW to encourage private, charity and council-led ideas for suitable development projects to address the housing crisis.
But Byron Shire Deputy Mayor Michael Lyon says the housing strategy is little more than a fluff piece.
‘It’s all very broad and motherhood and feel-good, talking of things we are going to do in twenty years,’ Cr Lyon told Bay FM’s Community Newsroom last week.
‘But right now, we are in a crisis in terms of the Byron Shire and the neighbouring council areas,’ Cr Lyon said, ‘the things that they’re talking about achieving in twenty years, we’re ready to achieve those now’.
Meanwhile, both Ballina Shire Councillor Ben Smith and Tweed Mayor Chris Cherry say they hear alarm bells over the government’s proposal to give the Land and Environment Court extra resources to clear what it describes as blocked development applications.
Tweed Mayor Chris Cherry says it’s the ‘wrong end of the stick’ to approach.
The mayor said there was ‘definitely a backlog’ of development applications in the Tweed Shire after an influx over the past twelve to eighteen months and the council would welcome help from the state government.
‘It would be so much more practical and non-combative to do it at the planning level,’ Cr Cherry said, ‘rather than at the Land and Environment Court level’.
*Mia Armitage is a Bay FM member