Today’s 2022-23 Budget lays out the ACT Government’s plans to build 30,000 new homes to keep up with the ACT’s surging population growth. But these plans will be put at risk if the Government doesn’t follow up with planning reforms that unlock more housing in Canberra’s inner suburbs.
“The ACT Government’s target of 30,000 new homes over the next 5 years is the right one. But these plans will come up short if they continue to rely on oft-delayed new land releases. It’s time to legalise more medium density housing across our city.” - Howard Maclean, Convenor, Greater Canberra
While the Budget includes a much-needed boost in funding to the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate to support new land releases, Greater Canberra is still concerned that many of the planned dwellings are located in greenfield and “brownfield” areas that have historically been subject to significant delays.
“It took 3 years from the completion of the Whitlam master plan to new homes actually being supplied, so in planning terms, 5 years is the day after tomorrow. It is very hard to see how the planned new dwellings the ACT Government has announced today will be ready by 2027. In the interim, we need more gentle density in existing suburbs.” - Maclean
Greater Canberra’s 2022-23 Budget submission called on the ACT Government to allow unit-titled duplexes on up to 60,000 existing RZ1-zoned properties, and upzone areas near rapid bus routes to allow more townhouses and small apartment buildings. Similar reforms implemented in Auckland in 2016 were later shown to have almost doubled new housing construction in the city.
In light of the increased public housing investment announced in the Budget, Greater Canberra is also calling on the ACT Government to reform laws that currently allow wealthy residents to block much-needed public housing projects in Canberra’s inner suburbs.
“It’s great to see more public housing investment in this Budget. But we’re currently seeing social housing projects being held up in ACT tribunals for months because of nuisance lawsuits from an unrepresentative minority of residents. It’s time to put a stop to this behaviour, and make sure this new investment is spent on building more homes, not on legal fees.” - Maclean
About Greater Canberra
Greater Canberra is a community advocacy group committed to affordable and high-quality housing in Canberra. We believe in a future where housing is abundant, and where everyone can enjoy a more sustainable and liveable city. For more information, see https://greatercanberra.org.