Councils should not be held responsible for the delivery of State infrastructure.
That was the view of one panelist at the Property Council of Australia's (NSW) Great Growth Debate, held this week in Sydney.
The panel was attended by Alison McLaren, president of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), Deborah Dearing, national manager strategic urban planning – Stockland and John Wynnne, regional director of Urbis.
During the discussion Ms McLaren pointed out that it wasn’t up to councils to deliver the State’s infrastructure.
“Councils were set-up to deal with roads and rubbish,” she said.
“Where a council can, it will work with the State Government, but it isn’t a council’s role to implement major infrastructure.”
Ms Dearing said a clear standard template should have been delivered for local government to deal with certain situations.
“[In Western Sydney] people bought houses on the promise of a new train line to the CBD. But no train line was delivered.
“This then forces councils to push back projects and refuse new housing because there’s no accompanying infrastructure.”
The panel agreed that a clear and precise decision needed to be made about the role of local government in the state's planning system.
“Right now councils are concerned about the key implementations of communities in disadvantaged areas,” McLaren said.