UDIA welcomes Budget investment in roads and fast rail

The NSW Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) has welcomed the $326.5M to improve the road network on the Central Coast and invest in fast rail, announced in the State Government 2022-23 Budget on Tuesday.

Chair of the Central Coast UDIA, Caine King, said those were critical initiatives to support the economic development and liveability for the Central Coast.

“As the Central Coast continues growing, demand for housing has been rising due to a combination of record low interest rates, government incentives, and migration to the regions influenced by COVID-19 induced demand for more space and a growing preference for working from home,” he said.

“As a result, demand is outstripping the supply of new homes, and prices are rising.

“New house prices across the Central Coast have increased 31 percent over the past year, with the median price of a new house in the Central Coast LGA at $920,000 in March 2022.”

King said the Budget’s $300M in Accelerated Infrastructure Funding could support the delivery of local infrastructure such as the $126M in local roads and water and sewer infrastructure identified in the UDIA’s Building Blocks – Central Coast report, which will unlock 12,000 new homes on the Central Coast.

“Overall, however, we are disappointed there is no funding in today’s NSW Budget for state infrastructure to directly support housing supply for the Coast,” he said.

The UDIA is calling on the NSW Government to back up its pledge to address housing affordability by investing in the infrastructure needed to increase housing supply on the Central Coast.

The Budget does support housing supply in other ways, and UDIA welcomes the $33.8M for the Regional Housing Development Program, including expanding the Urban Development Program.

The UDIA also welcomes the $106.7M over three years to create a Biodiversity Credits Supply Fund.

“This will provide a much-needed intervention to kickstart the biodiversity offset credit trading market by guaranteeing landholders will be able to sell the biodiversity credits they generate when they choose to use their land for conservation purposes,” King said.

“The Fund is intended to encourage more biodiversity protection while also supporting new housing supply by making it easier to offset any necessary biodiversity impacts from development.

“UDIA will continue to strengthen our advocacy work in this regard to achieve the focused investment that our region needs,” King said.

The UDIA is NSW’s leading development industry body, representing more than 500 member companies and agencies across the public and private sector for the goal of liveable, affordable, and connected smart cities.

Primary source: UDIA NSW

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