Creating a more liveable Greater Sydney for all

21 Nov 2016
Media Release | Today, the Greater Sydney Commission has put on public exhibition the 40-year vision, Towards our Greater Sydney 2056, and the first ever 20 year draft District Plans, one for each of Greater Sydney’s six Districts.

The goal of these Plans is to have well-coordinated, integrated and effective planning for land use, transport and infrastructure.

The draft District Plans set out the opportunities, priorities and actions and provide the means by which the Greater Sydney Region Plan, A Plan for Growing Sydney can be put into action at a local level.

They show how Greater Sydney will be transformed into a thriving metropolis of three cities: the Eastern City, the Central City, and the Western City, all of them productive, liveable and sustainable.

“Greater Sydney is a mosaic of great places, and we’ve collaborated with the community, peak interest groups, businesses, and all levels of government to build concrete plans to make those places greater,” said Greater Sydney Commission’s Chief Commissioner Lucy Turnbull. “Together, we can reimagine our city.

“Our ambition is for Greater Sydney to be the kind of global city that is home to a mix and variety of places we want to live, work, study, play and visit – places that are close to those essentials like housing choices, smart jobs, great schools, health care, open spaces and facilities.”

The plans address the most pressing challenges in Greater Sydney, including:

  • Setting a 5-10 per cent target for affordable rental housing for low and very low income households in all new development in new urban renewal and greenfield areas across Greater Sydney;
  • Creating a green grid – a long-term vision and priority projects to deliver a regional connected network of parks, bushland, waterways, tree-lined streets and walking and cycling paths;
  • Designation of ‘collaboration areas’ – places where different levels of government, and in some cases the private sector or landowners, can work together to improve productivity, liveability and sustainability; and
  • Establishment of the Greater Sydney Digital Dashboard, an interactive online tool to monitor the growth and change of Greater Sydney to help make the best possible planning decisions.

Greater Sydney Commission CEO Sarah Hill said that District level plans have been the missing link between the regional plan, A Plan for Growing Sydney, and councils’ local environment plans.

“The draft District Plans are a product of genuine collaboration, bringing the arms of government together with crucial data that will inform planning at all levels, and aligning our planning processes,” Ms Hill said.

“Effective planning is a shared pursuit, so we have worked as ‘one government’ with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, Transport for NSW, NSW Treasury, NSW Ministry of Health, the NSW Department of Education, UrbanGrowth NSW, Infrastructure NSW and every single local government in Greater Sydney.

“In the Commission’s first 10 months we have delivered a vision for Greater Sydney - months ahead of timetable so we have additional time to consult with the community about that vision - but it’s just the first step, and there’s more to do next year.”

The plans will be on public exhibition until the end of March 2017, during which time we will be engaging with the community right across Greater Sydney and encouraging submissions.

Towards our Greater Sydney 2056 is a draft amendment to the current Greater Sydney Region Plan, A Plan for Growing Sydney, which will continue to be revised in 2017, aiming to finalise it at the end of 2017 in line with the District Plans, subject to NSW Government approval,” Ms Hill explained.

“This 2017 review will take place in parallel with the review of the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan 2012, now called the Future Transport Strategy by Transport for NSW, and of Rebuilding NSW: State Infrastructure Strategy 2014 by Infrastructure NSW. These plans will also align with the NSW Intergenerational Report 2016.

“By early 2018, for the first time in many decades, our aim is that final land use, transport and infrastructure plans will be aligned to provide a strong platform for Greater Sydney.”

Ms Turnbull said that in preparing the plans, the Commission had talked to individuals and community groups and had input from peak groups, councils and government agencies.  

“We’ve translated those big picture conversations into draft plans that will act as a focal point for further conversation to develop the plans further, working with the community to get their feedback,” Ms Turnbull said. “The draft District Plans are a discussion starter. We’ll continue to engage peak groups and the community, and encourage Greater Sydneysiders to participate in person or engage via our website.”

The Commission will also be consulting with stakeholders and community on a draft revision to A Plan for Growing Sydney during the second half of 2017.

The District Plans and revised Greater Sydney Region Plan will not be finalised until the end of 2017 so that newly elected council officials can have their say.

Join the conversation on social media using #GreaterSydney or to find out more or make a formal submission visit

Media Contact: Peter Scott 0466 499 352



Established in January this year, the Greater Sydney Commission is the new body that oversees big picture planning for the whole of Greater Sydney. It is a NSW Government agency that thinks, plans and acts independently.

The Central District is the powerhouse of Greater Sydney and a focal point for jobs, business and financial activity. It is a District of great natural beauty, rich in lifestyle, cultural and recreational attractions and including a blend of fast-paced centres, cosmopolitan urban communities and village-like heritage neighbourhoods.
Council Areas: Bayside, Burwood, Canada Bay, Inner West, Randwick, Strathfield, City of Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra.
District Commissioner: Maria Atkinson

The North District is a place of coastline suburbs, harbour communities and bushland neighbourhoods located around vibrant urban centres with lively high streets, busy shopping districts and employment hubs.
Council Areas: Hornsby, Hunters Hill, Ku-ring-gai, Lane Cove, Northern Beaches, Mosman, North Sydney, Ryde, Willoughby
District Commissioner: Deborah Dearing

The South District offers something for everyone - access to great beaches and Australia’s first national park, direct rail links to the Sydney CBD and beyond, wonderful eat-streets and multicultural hubs, and superb potential in terms of future knowledge-intensive and health-related jobs.
Council Areas: Georges River, Canterbury-Bankstown, Sutherland
District Commissioner: Morris Iemma

The South West District is Sydney’s fastest growing District, where urban lifestyles meet rural living and residents enjoy the best of both worlds. It is rich in Aboriginal, colonial and migrant history and heritage and is one of the most culturally diverse communities in Australia.
Council Areas: Camden, Campbelltown, Fairfield, Liverpool, Wollondilly
District Commissioner: Sheridan Dudley

The West Central District is a District of rapidly growing retail and employment centres that service vibrant multicultural communities located close to a rich network of regional parks, waterways and scenic rural beauty.
Council Areas: The Hills, Blacktown, Parramatta, Cumberland
District Commissioner: Edward Blakely

The West District is a growing, thriving District blessed with natural beauty: from the dramatic cliffs and canyons of the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains, to the green sanctuaries of its seven national parks, to the gently winding waterways of the Hawkesbury-Nepean River system.
Council Areas: Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Penrith
District Commissioner: Sean O’Toole

Social Media

@GSCSydney instagram