Waterloo Metro Good For Urban Renewal: Urban Taskforce


The Baird Government has announced that it will put its new inner city station on the new Sydney Metro line at Waterloo, and not at Sydney University.

Waterloo, which is north of Green Square and east of Redfern, surrounds a 13 ha social housing estate including around 2000 homes.

Minister for Social Housing Brad Hazzard, said the estate's social housing would be redeveloped.

"The Metro station will transform the Waterloo housing estate for the better, building a dynamic community with better amenity, better homes, better facilities, fantastic transport and more jobs," Mr Hazzard said.

The announcement by the NSW Government was welcomed by the Urban Taskforce but it expressed concerns that a proposed housing tax would lift prices.

“The decision to choose Waterloo over Sydney University is the right one to drive urban renewal,” Urban Taskforce CEO, Chris Johnson said.

“We are however very concerned that a contribution tax of $20,000 for each new apartment is proposed based on the Parramatta Light Rail approach. Any further taxing of new homes will be passed directly onto new purchasers.”

“The Urban Taskforce is also concerned that the NSW government will want private developers to fund the rebuilding of the 2,000 existing social housing units as part of the urban renewal of the Redfern Waterloo estate."Developers who are expected to benefit from the decision in the short term include Mirvac, Deicorp, and two Chinese developers, JQZ and Dahua.

The Government has required the private sector to fund new social housing in urban renewal developments at the Riverwood and Ivanhoe Estates and to subsidise this through new private housing.

The Government’s Draft Redfern Waterloo Built Environment Plan 2 calls for a mix of private and social housing and implies that the private development can subsidise the social housing.

“The price of new housing will go through the roof if it has to fund rail infrastructure and social housing," Mr Johnson said.

"While the new apartment market has been booming in the last year there are signs that this is tapering off. The NSW Government must be very careful about adding too many taxes to the apartment development market as they will end up killing the goose that laid the golden egg.”

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