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Regional NSW in Crisis

by Marquette Turner

in Real Estate Radar

Regional NSW is in desperate need of attention and fast. For decades Sydney has been the focus of both Federal and State Governments with regional cities like Newcastle largely ignored by both sides of politics as it has always provided a safe haven for Labor. Therefore Labor has seen no need to campaign strongly and the Coalition parties have promised little for the area as ultimately they would be unlikely to gain politically from the exercise.

It is sad to think that our country and ultimately our democracy is run in a way where political opportunism determines what infrastructure may be placed in a given area, however it would seem quite close to the reality in 2007. Successive State Governments have ignored the needs of regional NSW and therefore have in a large way created the housing crisis which we are now suffering. There has been a complete lack of focus, vision and spending on regional infrastructure connecting NSW regions to metropolitan Sydney and we now are suffering the consequences.

As a boy born and bred in Newcastle I have seen the city progress ever so slowly. I have seen the Newcastle City Council sacked in the 1980’s and the Honeysuckle development touted as the city’s saviour take longer to complete than it has taken for China to become a major international economic force. I experienced the earthquake in 1989 and still see unchanged remnants today which is a terrible indictment on Government at all levels.

If transport was world leading, with a super fast train connecting Sydney and regional centres we would have the capacity to resolve housing problems in Sydney with people able to live further from their workplace. We would also be able to attract business to our regions which would revolutionize the economies of many cities and towns that are otherwise struggling. Imagine a second international airport actually in Newcastle or Wollongong rather than Sydney? Imagine them connected by world class super fast train links and imagine how that might compare to London with Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stanstead? Imagine how we could easily progress our nation if only common sense prevailed? Let’s hope it does. Michael Marquette

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