NSW Premier Chris Minns says Rosehill Racecourse plan will make housing cheaper for young people

NSW Premier Chris Minns says Rosehill Racecourse plan will make housing cheaper for young people
  • PublishedDecember 7, 2023

Plans to turn a racecourse into a housing development while also increasing density around train stations will make property more affordable for young people, NSW Premier Chris Minns has said.

The Minns government today announced official plans to replace the Rosehill Gardens Racecourse, in the city’s west, with 25,000 homes, in a bid to “re-shape Sydney”.

The new suburb will likely become an extra stop on the Metro West which the government has just given the green light, linking Parramatta to Sydney’s CBD.

Mr Minns said for far too long housing had not kept up with infrastructure, and vice versa.

“This is one of the last parcels in metropolitan Sydney of uncontaminated land to do dwellings at scale,” he said.

A view over Rosehill Gardens Racecourse
Premier Chris Minns said the racecourse would be replaced with 25,000 homes.(AAP: Bianca De Marchi)

“For the first time the city is actually marrying public transport infrastructure with new housing.”

It is part of a broader plan to build 138,000 new dwellings at rezoned sites in 31 suburbs, and 47,800 homes near eight major transport hubs, with the latter to be completed over the next 15 years.

“We don’t want to be in a situation any longer where young people [say] ‘forget about buying a house when I get older’,” Mr Minns said.

“They can’t even afford to rent a place.”

He said housing affordability in Sydney was the worst in the country, with supply failing to keep up with demand.

“We have the lowest completion rates on the east coast,” he said.

“We produced six houses per 1,000 people every 12 months in Sydney, Victoria produced eight and Queensland produced nine houses.”

NSW Opposition Leader Mark Speakman said the government’s vision fails to address the immediate housing crisis, which should start with limiting the number of people moving to Australia.

“Chris Minns needs to pick up the phone and tell Anthony Albanese that he needs to ease back on immigration,” Mr Speakman said.

The opposition conceded the potential for Rosehill to turn into a “mini city” is there, but this announcement lacks detail, including when those homes will be built.

“None of these upzonings will result in an extra dwelling being built in Sydney in the next several years,” he said.

Communities set to benefit from the rail project have been in limbo since the Minns government came into power, after it requested a review into its viability.

The findings of that independent review have been released today, recommending the government proceed with the rail project with a minimum of nine stations, including Five Dock, Sydney Olympic Park and Westmead.

It said Metro West “will create nine key precincts for Sydney, which will enable a large expansion of housing supply, and new employment and livability opportunities”.

However, the project’s expected completion has been delayed by two years to 2032, and the already $25 billion price tag is predicted to blow out even further.

“That means either we’ll be seeing a housing uplift along that corridor without the supporting transport infrastructure, or housing won’t come until at least 2032,” Mr Speakman said.

Up to two stations will be added to the line, likely situated to address a seven-kilometre gap from Sydney Olympic Park to Parramatta, which Rosehill sits in between.

Rosehill replacement ‘expected’

The Australian Turf Club (ATC) chairman Peter McGauran said the historic project would “transform the racing industry,” with the revenue leapfrogging it forward by 50 years.

He conceded moving the 150-year-old racetrack would cause some people anxiety.

The club expects to raise $5 billion from the development of the historic site, which will be used to improve and build new facilities in venues across Sydney.

“Sports die if they don’t reinvigorate, reinvest and re-envisage the future,” Mr McGauran said.

University of Technology Sydney transport researcher Mathew Hounsell said Rosehill was always going to be redeveloped, because of its proximity to Sydney’s second CBD, Parramatta.

Matthew Hounsell transport researcher UTS gives an interview to the abc news reporter
Transport researcher Mathew Hounsell said the Rosehill plan had been slated for decades.(ABC News: Isobel Roe)

“It’s been talked about for decades … it was going to go at some point,” Mr Hounsell told ABC Radio.

He said there were two primary sites for another station near Newington and Auburn which could be suitable.

The transport expert also welcomed the government’s strategy to build up around critical transport infrastructure, not out.

“You can’t continually expand the city west, it costs too much money and puts too much burden on the government to keep supporting very expensive infrastructure,” he said.

“It’s what’s bankrupted several cities in the United States and the United Kingdom … constantly sprawling cities.”


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