If you build it, they will come

Sydney, the second most expensive city in the world. The new Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, declares it “the biggest issue”.

Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce tells us to accept it.

But why?

I see this as a complete failure of leadership, and of understanding.

Sydney is lovely, beaches, rivers, parks, infrastructure. There are beautiful beaches for the length of the eastern coast. There are rivers and creeks everywhere. Parks abound. So infrastructure is key to the attraction of Sydney, and to the escalating costs, congestion and other trials for our leaders.

To quote “Field of Dreams” “If you build it, they will come.” And they do, by the thousands.

I spoke to a group of young people and asked them why they moved to Sydney, “because it is close to everything” they told me.

Building more infrastructure in our capitals generates more demand to live in our capitals.

Our regional centres spend year after year, planning different ways to improve the lot of their citizens, without significant success. The deck is stacked against them.

Until our secondary cities can offer proximity to services (and that means infrastructure) they will remain a “negative good” in the minds of our young people, our new people and our businesses.

Long term planning is necessary to relieve the pressure on our exploding Capitals and bring equity to our regional centres. We don’t need a way to build more free-standing dwellings in Sydney. We need to lift the service provision in other areas.

How can this be done?

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