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Moves to fast track housing

COUNCILS will be dangled a $50 million carrot to pay for their infrastructure woes while a new government body will be given the power to turbocharge housing delivery reports Vikki Campion in The Daily Telegraph of 13 June 2012.

In moves applauded by the property industry, a new agency will merge Landcom and Sydney Metropolitan Development Authority, to end ad hoc development, fast-track projects that take years to be approved, and encourage building close to transport.

Councils will be paid millions of dollars for infrastructure if they increase housing supply close to jobs and transport. "One of the main problems ... in the past is land identified for housing has not been properly integrated with the necessary supporting infrastructure," Planning Minister Brad Hazzard said.

The new housing delivery agency, Urbangrowth NSW, will put new executives, called "release area delivery managers" in charge to "solve local planning problems and review development contributions".

Meanwhile, the government was forced to spend $13 million to clear an 18-month-old backlog of development applications worth more than $55 billion that have been lingering since the former planning laws Part 3A were dissolved.