Minister for Planning: I thank the member for Sydney for her question and I note her commitment to the issue of affordable housing as well as her compassion for homeless people in her local government area and in her electorate. The Department of Planning undertook a comprehensive consultation program on the affordable rental housing State environmental planning policy from November 2008 and worked with developers, peak groups, councils and the Local Government and Shires Associations. We developed a policy that was designed to give us the best chance of delivering more affordable housing. Leading industry experts have endorsed our approach, including Professor Peter Phipps from the University of Western Sydney who is an expert in urban planning and development.
The New South Wales Government is using statewide incentives when it comes to stimulating more affordable rental housing as an alternative to allowing council-wide taxes on all new development. Our target through the policy is simply to produce as much affordable housing as is possible. When the Premier and I launched the State environmental planning policy on 31 July this year, we said that we would review it in 12 months. We think that a review of the State environmental planning policy after 12 months makes sense. It gives the Department of Planning a good understanding of how the State environment planning policy is operating. Bringing forward the review will not give us sufficient time to collect meaningful data relating to future decisions vis-à-vis the State environmental planning policy.
While the Government does not support a plan to levy across just one entire council area in an attempt to fund of affordable housing, we are eager to work with the member for Sydney and the Council of the City of Sydney. Already I have asked the department to review research provided by the council in relation to affordable housing. I confirm that meetings between my staff and senior staff of the council already have been scheduled. I look forward to an ongoing dialogue with the Lord Mayor of Sydney on this issue.
Clover Moore MP: I address my question to the Minister for Planning. Will she undertake an immediate review of the affordable rental housing State environmental planning policy [SEPP] to allow the Council of the City of Sydney to include a 4 per cent levy to ensure that affordable housing is provided in the inner city where it is needed most?