Facts speak louder than statistics

Friday, 12 March 2010

Private land to be seized for housing

From the Sydney Morning Herald

March 12, 2010

THE state government is rushing to prepare laws to create a development authority with sweeping powers to compulsorily acquire and rezone privately owned land for resale to developers.

Sydney's population set to grow 40 per cent to 6 million in the next 25 years, the government has decided it needs a metropolitan development authority to buy privately owned land near rail and bus routes for medium- and high-density housing.

Legislation for the new authority, believed to be the first of its kind in Australia, will be introduced before June in an attempt to increase housing construction rates, which are the lowest on record even though the city's population is growing at the fastest rate since the 1960s.

Stephen Albin, the chief executive of the Urban Development Institute, a developer group, said while landowners should receive some compensation for increased value from rezoning, they should not receive it all.

''Developers are taking the risk … these landowners are not taking risk. Government has decided for the good of the city, for the good of the community, development must occur.”

Someone can own something but he thinks they have to get less than is fair for it so someone else can make a profit from it.

Developers are taking the risk? Of course they are, that's how capitalism works, if they want the profit they take the risk. It's not down to private land owners to subsidise someone else’s enterprise.

These landowners are not taking risk? Well why would they? They didn't ask to be part of the venture.

The rationale behind the authority and the compulsory acquisition provision is community benefit?

Something that is for the benefit of the community is usually paid for by the community, not just a few of its members, in this case private land owners.

It's the same as acquiring land for a road or a railway?

No it's not, it appears it's mainly for the benefit of a developers profit.

People don’t buy homes so developers can benefit.

Taking someone’s land should only be for a genuine benefit to the common good such as when they built the Harbour Bridge or if the army urgently needs land during war time and the owners involved should be compensated fairly for the inconvenience such a venture places upon them. Such decisions shouldn’t be taken lightly and it should not be done just so someone else can profit.

Whether or not the housing developments can be considered for the greater good is debatable, one thing is certain and that is a developers profit is not for the common good and that profit is no one else’s responsibility but their own.