Real Estate

Sydney residents think politicians are blaming migrants for bad planning, poll results show

Written by The ReReport

Sydneysiders have slammed politicians for using migration as a scapegoat for bad city planning decisions, a new survey reveals.

The Property Council of Australia poll showed 63 per cent of Sydney residents surveyed said politicians were blaming high migration for growth issues that could have been solved with better planning.

About three quarters also believed population growth was good as long as there was adequate planning for it and that Sydney’s current growing pains were the result of governments failing to plan properly.

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Property Council NSW executive director Jane Fitzgerald said it was clear that Sydneysiders wanted growth to be sustainable.

“The choice in Sydney and NSW is not between growth and no growth, the only choice we have is between good growth and bad growth,” she said.

Ms Fitzgerald added that governments would need to rethink their policy focus.

“Growth in Sydney and NSW can benefit everyone in the community and must be built upon transparent and consistent decision making by political parties, local governments and planners,” she said.

Just over eight in 10 survey respondents rated Sydney as an above average place to live, but wanted the high cost of living, congestion and limited access to affordable housing to be addressed.

The online survey of 2936 respondents was conducted between 13-23 November and sought to determine attitudes towards population growth in major cities.

The full results will be released ahead of a COAG meeting next week to discuss a new framework to better manage population growth.

A similar report by the Scanlon Foundation found more than four in five Australians believed there were benefits to migration, but were also concerned about its impact on overcrowding and house prices.

But 43 per cent said migration intake was “too high”.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently announced the number of migrants accepted into Australia may be cut by up to 30,000. The current annual cap on new arrivals is 190,000.

During a recent speech he said population growth had played a key role in the country’s economic success but was now attracting concern.

“I know Australians in our biggest cities are concerned about population,” Mr Morrison said. “They are saying enough, enough, enough … the roads are clogged, the buses and trains are full. The schools are taking no more enrolments. I hear what you are saying. I hear you loud and clear.”

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