Greenfield housing estate in Western Sydney. Sydney in the background.
  • Greater Western Sydney is home to 1.9 million people, with approximately 1.6 million living in the WSROC area.
  • The population of the region is expected to grow by another 1million over the next twenty years.
  • In 2011 over 40 percent of the population had been born overseas, with the highest concentrations in the Auburn (60%) and Fairfield (55%).
  • A large percentage of new migrants to Australia settle in Western Sydney.
  • The population is relatively young – 49 percent are under 35.
  • According to SEIFA rankings, four of Sydney’s five most socio-economically disadvantaged local government areas (LGAs) are in Western Sydney.    


Challenge: population growth

Western Sydney’s single overriding priority is the need to house more than one million additional people by 2031. Sydney already has an estimated shortage of 45,000 homes and construction rates are short of extra demand by around another 8,000 a year. NSW has 45,000 on the waiting list for private rental and 60,000 on the public housing waiting list.The housing shortage impacts most heavily on the disadvantaged communities in much of Western Sydney.



Key policy priorities (state and federal)

  • Develop and implement a national housing and settlement strategy which recognises the interaction between migration, housing, income support, employment, health and transport policies.
  • Establish and fund a National Affordable Urban Renewal Plan for the renewal of existing suburbs to accommodate population growth in a financially and ecologically sustainable way.
  • Support councils in their provision of critical infrastructure and social amenities, through direct funding or by establishing a form of regional renewal trust to assist in the purchase and renovation of suitable development sites.
  • Develop taxation measures that favour low-cost housing construction, particularly in the investment property market, and direct funding towards schemes to leverage private investment in affordable housing to prioritise the delivery of housing to low income private renters and first home buyers.
  • Provide increased funding for homelessness services and encourage innovation to ensure the diverse needs of homeless Australians are met.
  • Provide longer term housing for new arrivals.
  • Provide increased funding and greater funding security for community housing organisations.
  • Work with all spheres of government to identify the direct impacts of federal government policies on urban areas, particularly those with high levels of disadvantage most vulnerable to social polarisation.
  • Develop a comprehensive national policy framework in conjunction with the State and local governments that addresses population growth, infrastructure development and sustainability for regions of national significance such as Western Sydney.

For more information visit our Reports and Submissions pages.
WSROC Response: Sydney over the next 20 years, June 2012