The NSW Government has been given a number of ideas as to how they can unlock much-needed housing in the state’s rural communities, with 500 people tuning into the Regional Housing Taskforce virtual roadshow.

A raft of ideas were brought forward to the government, including a partnership model between government, councils and industry to better coordinate housing infrastructure and changes to local planning rules to allow more medium density housing in town centres. 

NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Rob Stokes, says the taskforce has been overwhelmed by the attendance numbers to the two-week virtual event.

“We asked the taskforce to investigate the drivers of housing pressure in the regions and by the sheer level of community interest, I’m optimistic we will have a clear picture of the unique housing challenges in each region,” he says in a NSW Ministerial Media Release

“The taskforce will take what they’ve heard and develop recommendations for how we can deliver innovative solutions to create more housing opportunities. 

“I thank everyone who shared their experiences and ideas, particularly as regional NSW entered lockdown just as the virtual roadshow started.” 

Regional Housing Taskforce Chair, Garry Fielding, says the community’s feedback will shape the future of housing along the coast and in the bush, away from metropolitan areas.  

“By listening to the community’s views, the taskforce has gained plenty of information and new ways to improve housing opportunities for our regions,” he says. 

“Despite COVID, the switch to online meetings gave us better reach and allowed more people to be able to contribute.” 

The Taskforce will now prepare an independent report to the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces on how the planning system can be better utilised to address housing needs in the regions. 

For more information regarding the suggested changes to regional housing, please head to the NSW Government’s Planning Portal.

Image: NSW Government