What we are up against in Sydney and NSW – a ‘Perfect Storm’

I just found this video in an article about the Crown Land dodgy business happening out in Northmead (part of Parramatta) at Moxham Quarry.   It is a simple video based timeline of how the planning system has been corrupted in NSW by the Property Council of NSW, Urban Task Force and the Committee for Sydney.


It is a story about the disenfranchising of local residents and local councils for the benefit of developers and the “top end of town”. The video is set in the northern beaches area of Sydney.  But it tells a story of influence peddling, graft and corruption that is shocking in its audacity of the cast of players involved which has been repeated in many council areas throughout NSW.

There is a fascinating cast list of players in this video which is called ‘Perfect Storm’.  The names that popped out and socked me in the face include Scott Morrison, who used to head of the Building Owners and Managers Association (or similar name) which has now morphed into the Property Council of Australia. And then again I saw the name of Chris Johnson, former NSW Government Architect and a former very senior player at NSW Planning.   Johnson’s father was Peter Johnson, then head of the University of Sydney Faculty of Architecture when I did my first architecture there in the early 1970s.  I can only wonder what  Peter Johnson thinks of his son who has become a mouth piece and apologist for the developer lobby group Urban Task Force, and a virtual social outcast from the architecture profession in NSW.

Both of these groups, Property Council of Australia and Urban Task Force, have been feeding Baird’s frenzied policy of growing Sydney at a breakneck pace.

  • No one ever seems to have challenged the strategy of growing Sydney to over 6.6 million people by 2036, a stated policy on the Urban Growth NSW web site
  • Why do Sydney siders just sit back and let Baird’s cabal of “top end of town” dictate that Sydney should become the Los Angeles planning train wreck of the 21st century?
  • Where is the equivalent of Greater Sydney Commission fostering investment in jobs and infrastructure in regional and rural NSW?
  • Dont both looking because there is none!  Because the “top end of town” cannot reap windfall profits from value capture in regional and rural NSW.
  • So NSW Liberal Party doesn’t give a stuff if you live west of the Great Dividing Range, where there are no jobs but lots of empty houses in small “cities”, country towns and villages that have seen their younger generation move away to the big smoke for tertiary education and serious job opportunities.
  • No wonder the Liberals coalition partner in the NSW Govt – National Party – were attacked with baseball bats in the Orange by-election.

John Young
Architects for Better Planning in NSW
PO Box 536 | Spit Junction NSW 2088



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