Sydney can cope with neither urban sprawl nor higher urban densities, according to the NSW branch of Sustainable Population Australia (SPA).
Branch president, Mr Tomi Strugar, says the only solution is to end population growth in the city as soon as possible.
“There are two ways of ending this growth. We must cut immigration and ensure fertility rates do not rise again,” says Mr Strugar.
Sydney’s population is expected to grow to 4.9 million in 2026, up one million in 30 years. According to the State of the Environment Report 2000 (NSW), managing this population increase represents “a major sustainability challenge requiring cooperation between all levels of government and the community.”
Mr Strugar says getting this cooperation will be difficult. “People are already outraged about having their suburbs turned into a sea of flats. Councils cannot even meet the current costs of renewing infrastructure, let alone provide for endless new residents.”
The State of Environment Report noted the environmental impacts of the development of new residential areas, particularly with respect to water and air quality within the metropolitan area.
“Development along the south-west and north-west corridors is putting pressure on an already stressed Nepean-Hawkesbury River system,” says Mr Strugar. “The Sydney Basin has natural boundaries and we are already pushing past them into environmentally fragile regions such as the Blue Mountains.”
Encouraging people out of Sydney up and down the coast is not an answer either, according to Mr Strugar.
“The NSW Government recognises the problems and recently acted to control development along the coastal fringe,” he says. “But development in the coastal hinterland is almost as bad as these are the regions of greatest biodiversity in the state. Further clearing is quite unacceptable.”
Tomi Strugar, Ph: 02 9337 5246 E: email@example.com