Month: June 2015

NSW State Budget Commits More To Planning Projects

An extra $1b to the Ministry and planning projects

From the New South Wales State Government which has handed down its Budget today:

Budget provides $1 billion for simpler planning, and better infrastructure for NSW

The Hon. Rob Stokes MP, Minister for Planning 23 Jun 2015

Planning Minister Rob Stokes today announced that the NSW Budget will invest $1 billion over four years in planning for the homes, jobs and services NSW needs for the future and making the system simpler and more efficient.

This is part of the NSW Government’s record $4.5 billion investment in the Planning and Environment cluster over four years.

Mr Stokes said the Budget outlines a clear plan for funding infrastructure where it is needed to help create vibrant communities across NSW.

“Providing record funding for infrastructure and amenity is accompanying record levels of housing supply in NSW and will help to put downward pressure on house prices,” Mr Stokes said.

In 2015-16, the NSW Government will invest:

  • $77.6 million to support infrastructure for new homes in The Hills and Blacktown local government areas;
  • $46 million towards new parks, streetscapes and roads to support communities in Priority Precincts;
  • $26 million from the Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund to local infrastructure projects, including more than $12 million towards the University of Newcastle’s New Space project;
  • $19.9 million to construct the on-line Planning Portal to make the planning system simpler and easier to use;
  • $16.9 million to halve the time it takes to assess state significant projects, expand community consultation opportunities and ensure there is adequate capacity to assess environmental and social impacts to support the Government’s unprecedented level of investment in transport and social infrastructure in NSW;
  • $19 million to establish the Greater Sydney Commission and deliver the Plan for Growing Sydney.
  • “This investment represents a down-payment on the parks, shops and jobs needed to create distinct and liveable neighbourhoods as Sydney and NSW grow.

“We are investing in a simpler online system by building the Planning Portal – taking the paperwork out of planning for homeowners and businesses.

“The budget provides funding to establish the Greater Sydney Commission which will act to bring a better coordinated approach to planning across metropolitan Sydney.”

For more information please visit

Interactive Mapping the Budget tool highlights the key areas of spend. You can use the map to explore projects across planning regions and Local Government Areas (LGA), or filter by project type.


I wonder how things would be handled if we have such Planning Ministries like New South Wales and Victoria. Especially as both State Governments are working through Sydney and Melbourne Plans, and committing billions to infrastructure such as heavy rail.

Meanwhile in New Zealand……

Aucklanders Have Selected Their Cycleway Style Peference

Modern and smart

From Auckland Transport

Modern and distinctly NZ – what Aucklanders want for new landmark cycleway

Aucklanders have called for the surface design of the old Nelson Street off-ramp to be modern and distinctly New Zealand when it is turned into a new cycleway and walkway later this year.

862 people had their say on a short online survey, where they were able to choose from a range of options for the surface. After modern (43%) and distinctly NZ (42%), came subtle (29%), bright/bold (24%) and exciting/fun (23%).

People were also asked what would encourage them to cycle to the city centre more often. Cycleway improvements within the centre (57%) and safety (56%) were the most popular, followed by neighbourhood cycleway improvements (41%).

The old off-ramp will form part of the Nelson Street Cycle Route – a joint project of the NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport.

Councillor Chris Darby, the political urban design champion, says “There’s been a phenomenal response from Aucklanders, with plenty of social media chatter too. A breadth of views has been conveyed and the design team has now got a good steer to get on and deliver something that allows Auckland to shine. This project will get way more Aucklanders in the saddle, cycling their way out of congestion.”

The off-ramp was closed a decade ago and transforming it – as highlighted in the council’s City Centre Masterplan – has received strong support.  It aligns with the shared long-term vision of the NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport and Auckland Council to build world-class cycling infrastructure that promotes cycling as a safe and convenient mode of transport.

Brett Gliddon, the Transport Agency’s Auckland and Northland Highway Manager, says: “This project is part of a wider programme to create a well-connected network of cycle routes in Auckland over the next ten years.  It will link to the Grafton Gully cycleway to provide a continuous cycling route around the city centre and an alternative route to the city centre and the waterfront – giving cyclists more choice and better connections.”

Barbara Cuthbert, Cycle Action Auckland chair, says “We’re delighted with the response to the council’s survey, the strong public support for improved cycling connections and the prospect of a modern, distinctively NZ design and colouring on the off-ramp pavement. It’s such a smart, exciting, affordable way to enhance this landmark project.”

The new cycleway will connect to the Northwestern and Grafton Gully cycleways, providing easier and safer access to, from and within the city centre.

It will link Upper Queen Street to Nelson Street by a bridge to the old Nelson Street off-ramp. The route will continue as a cycle path along the western side of Nelson Street to Victoria Street and this part will open later this year. Phase two will continue from Victoria Street to Quay Street and will also provide a link along Pitt Street to join Karangahape Road and Union Street. Final completion is expected midway through next year.

Results from the survey:

How do you want the Nelson St off-ramp’s road surface to look?

Number %
Modern/urban 364 43
Distinctly New Zealand 355 42
Subtle/simple 248 29
Bright/bold 206 24
Exciting/fun 193 23
Other (please specify): 176 21
Unchanged/motorway grey 130 15
Geometric/abstract 119 14
Historic/classic 91 11
Words/lyrics/storytelling 84 10


How would you use the new walkway/cycle route?


Number %
Cycling 576 67
Recreation 533 62
Enjoying the environment and views 504 59
Walking or running 425 50
Exercise 384 45
Commuting to work or study 360 42
Other 62 7

What would encourage you to cycle to the city centre more often?



Number %
Cycleway improvements within the city centre 486 57
Safety 478 56
Local cycleway improvements in my neighbourhood 348 41
Cycle parking 291 34
Cycleway improvements to the city centre from the West 260 30
I already cycle regularly 185 22
Cycleway improvements to the city centre from the North 176 21
Cycleway improvements to the city centre from the South 163 19
More information about cycle routes 135 16
Cycleway improvements to the city centre from the East 129 15
Other 121 14
Nothing would get me to cycle 48 6