This is the Eastern Suburbs "continuous flow intersection" at the junction of Anzac Parade, Dacey Avenue and Alison Road planned as part of Sydney's WestConnex project. It involves a continuous traffic flow with 12 lanes of traffic and a light rail through the middle.At the end of August 2017 (Sydney's growth problems - light rail, Kingsford, Pagewood and Daceyville), I wrote of the changes taking place around the little Sydney area in which I have been living connected with the combination of population growth and planning. Change has continued since then.
A bloody big intersection
The illustration above shows a planned major intersection in what is called the Alexandria to Moore Park Connectivity Upgrade (A2MP) plan. Those who are interested can find find videos of the proposed A2MP route here. The connectivity requirement flows from the need to take traffic to and from the eastern end of the giant WestConnex freeway project. Councils and local MPs are up in arms in part because of tree loss, in part because this traffic will be then funneled into already overcrowded local streets.
Yet more density housing
In pursuit of its vision to transform Sydney through the creation of three metro centers,. the Greater Sydney Commission's Eastern City District Plan (the Eastern City also know as the Harbour City is the current CBD plus surrounds) provides for the area from South Kingsford to Maroubra especially along Anzac Parade to be developed as a priority precinct. For this, read medium and higher density. Randwick Council is objecting on the grounds that the transport on which the plan is based will not be developed in the immediately foreseeable future.
And more waste
The South Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils projects that the population covered by its councils will grow by 28% to 2.18 million people by by 2036. This is expected to increase waste generation up by 27% to over 880,000 tonnes per annum.
And crowded buses - but who could have expected universities to become mega-industrial institutions?
Under the heading "Don't worry, it's usually worse", the Southern Courier reports on the problems faced by University of NSW students seeking to get from Central railway station to UNSW. The Telegraph carries the story if under a less dramatic heading.
The story is linked to changes in the bus timetables, but it's also connected with the sheer size of the university. If I had known when I supported the Dawkins' university reforms that it would lead to a homogenised university sector dominated by mega corporatised industrial institutions I would have died in a ditch to prevent it. In fairness to myself and Mr Dawkins, nobody could probably have foreseen the tinkering that would take place later.
Extreme? The best way I can illustrate this is to say that it's like trying to shift the entire adult working population of the Northern Tablelands to Armidale each day to study or work in one institutions.
House prices and rents
When we first moved to Sydney, the million dollar price point for a simple house or semi was south of Rainbow Street. Soon after, it roared across the street and ran south along the coastline. Further inland, the million dollar price point crept up Anzac Parade through Kingsford and then jumped Gardner's Road into Daceyville. Further west, the million dollar price point swallowed Rosebery, and then jumped.Gardner's Road.
Over the last twelve months, the median price in Eastlakes has jumped 34.4% to $1.55 million. With very low inflation rates, this is a huge real increase.
Rents are slowly inflating. Slow income increases mean that landlords' ability to increase rents have been suppressed, leading to very low rental yield on investment properties. This can't continue, and owners are constantly pressing the margin.
Last week, my daughter and her flatmates received notice that the rent they were playing on their apartment was to be increased from $800 to $850 per week. It's a nice apartment, but that's a very big increase, one they can't afford. So a move has to be on.
The end point
The position in Sydney is unsustainable. The present Australian gross median income is about $81,000. Sydney's is higher. It has to be. Even if you are prepared, to use Leith van Onselen's phrase, to move from free range to battery city, to move from house to smaller apartment, the place is becoming just too expensive.
The solution offered to meet the growing problem of all the service workers who can no longer afford to live in the place is to subsidise the construction of affordable housing. I don't support this unless the program is funded by a levy on those who wish to live in Sydney and need the services. Instead, and I have come to this conclusion quite reluctantly, we should slow immigration.
The majority of migrants come into Sydney or Melbourne. They are the driver of Sydney growth. They are chasing other people out. If we froze immigration even for a brief period, and I would only support a brief freeze, the Sydney bubble would collapse. We could then resume migration on a sensible basis.