A dedicated “Minister for Sydney” should be appointed to bring housing, transport and infrastructure on to the same page and oversee Premier Chris Minns’ plan to rebalance housing targets while increasing density.
Business Sydney executive director Paul Nicolaou has reiterated his calls for a dedicated Minister for Sydney, declaring a central co-ordination role was now “more important than ever”.
While Sydney still has no dedicated minister, the Minns cabinet boasts a Minister for Western Sydney, a Minister for Western and Regional NSW, a Minister for the Illawarra and South Coast, a Minister for the Hunter, and a Minister for the North Coast.
“Sydney is the engine room of NSW and the economic pacesetter for the nation,” Mr Nicolaou said. “If Sydney succeeds, so does NSW. Appointing a Minister for Sydney is a pragmatic decision to act as a co-ordinating authority to tackle issues such as housing, public transport and infrastructure improvement.
“All are crying out for a strong figure with political and policy clout to get a host of government authorities and the private sector working as one.”
Mr Nicolaou’s long-running call was echoed by former premier Dominic Perrottet in 2019. The idea never went ahead.
The Daily Telegraph Editor Ben English used his address to last year’s Bradfield Oration to also make the call for a dedicated Sydney Minister to be a “metropolitan tsar empowered to override petty disputes or a supreme diplomat, able to bring warring departments, agencies and councils to consensus”.