An independent report reflecting the community’s experiences of housing and the planning system in regional NSW has been released by the NSW Government.

Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke said the Regional Housing Taskforce report includes feedback from councils and community members in the Cootamundra region.

“I had the opportunity to take part in the Riverina Murray Regional Virtual Roundtable and I am pleased to see the views of our electorate raised in the Roundtable expressed in the report, particularly around the challenges of shortages of rental properties and housing diversity,” Ms Cooke said.

“Our community is a unique part of regional NSW and it is vital the NSW Government considers the needs of the Cootamundra electorate when it delivers its policy.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the report details feedback from consultation with more than 500 people across regional NSW.

“The Regional Housing Taskforce’s report gives us a clear picture of the unique factors affecting housing in each regional community, and I want to thank every person who took part for their contributions,” Mr Stokes said.

“The report confirms COVID-19 has accelerated an existing trend of people moving from the city to the bush, and this has had an acute impact on regional housing markets.

“The findings tell us what regional communities need to better support their housing needs and I look forward to receiving the taskforce’s detailed recommendations in October.”

The key issues raised in the findings report include:

  • Greater prioritisation on the coordination and delivery of infrastructure to support new homes;
  • A need for collaboration between all levels of Government, the housing development industry and the community to develop the right type of housing where people need it;
  • Calls to speed up planning processes and reduce duplication, particularly where opportunities to provide housing are time-critical; and
  • Demand for more affordable and diverse housing in line with changing demographics, jobs growth, natural disasters, and migration trends.

The Regional Housing Taskforce will now prepare recommendations for the NSW Government to consider in October.

To review the findings, visit: www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/regional-housing.