Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Planning in Australia

Today we looked at the planning in Australia.

Whitney Taylor, the recent BPlan graduate from our university, who now works in Australia, gave us an introduction on Australia's planning system and issues related to Sydney through an internet video link.

Unfortunately, the link was not stable and reliable enough. We lost connections a few times.


  1. I'd just like to thank Whitney for her presentation it was very interesting. I also found the case studies were very interesting, especially the one around the old Olympic Village in Homebush and the one around the outback power cable. Having to make provision for potential bush fires, snakes and spiders sounds unreal. The idea to put a development of 20,000 people in the old Olympic Village is something that will need to be well thought through and provided for with good urban sustainable design. Seeing the development where Whitney lives was very interesting also as the mid-intensity development in that area is not something I've seen much of. Hearing also about the public transport being not so good for those travelling from distances made me think they need to move closer to where they work. Thanks again Whitney.

  2. Amanda Minting WenOctober 7, 2009 at 6:37 PM

    That was an interesting presentation. The information Whitney gave was very helpful too, especially the introduction to planning system of Australia. Before, I was worry about if I can adapt to the different planning environment and institutional frameworks, but after witnessing Whitney's real life example, I am now more positive about the possibility of working overseas. Also thanks for pointing out some of the key development issues in Australia, e.g. public transport. Without watching this presentation, I would not notice such local issues.

  3. Thank you for your presentation so early in the morning! Even with all the technical problems the session was still very interesting. I personally think that the train systems in Sydney aren’t that great if compared to other countries rather than Auckland, especially in terms of safety and efficiency. It was nice to hear that the transport system needs upgrading to cater for the increasing population. The most interesting bit was the bit about the aborigines, the policies and plans provided for them. Personally I think it was most eye catching as I was able to directly link it to the provisions for Maori people in NZ. Thank you again!

  4. I really enjoyed this presentation. Despite technical difficulties it was an interesting way to have a lecture presented to the class.
    It was also interesting to hear how Whitney had dealt with working under new legislation after spending 4 years at uni learning about the RMA.
    Having never been to Australia I was surprised to hear that Sydney had quite an inefficient transport system. It will be interesting in the coming years to compare the developments of Auckland's system to Sydney's. Seeing how each city responds to an increasing population and increasing demands for a reliable system.

  5. Xizheng Wang (ID:4644700)October 11, 2009 at 5:37 PM

    It was a very interesting presentation and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Kudos to Whitney for such a good presentation despite of time shortage, technical difficulties and an early start.

    From Whitney's experience I can see that the differences between differnt legislations are closer than I thought. The foundation of the legislations is basically the same: the pricinples when learnt in uni like sustainability.

    It was also quite interesting to hear some of the local issues (like the koala). We rarely consider things like bush fire in NZ. I also noticed that many of us in NZ perceive transport system in Sydney as efficient but in fact it isn't. You can only understand the environment of 4 million pop city only if you have been there.

  6. Thanks to Whitney for taking time (so early in the morning) to talk to us about planning in Australia. It was really good to hear about her experience of planning in another country shortly after her graduation.

    I was quite surprised to hear that public transport is an issue in Sydney as it never came across to me as being an issue, probably because where I stayed when I was on holiday there was close to the CBD. I never thought about the fact that Sydney is just as sprawled out as Auckland (if not more). But because the population is so much greater that tourists like ourselves don't really notice it.

  7. Tsz Ning CHUNG tchu049October 13, 2009 at 8:25 PM

    I would also like to thank Whitney for her time and the insightful presentation giving us all an overview of the Australian Planning System. For me personally it was a real highlight as I have never had such tele-conferencing before! I agree with SoYeon's comment about how in New Zealand the Resource Management Act 1991 has specific provisions involving Maori in decision-making. This acts as a striking contrast to the issue of how Aboringinal people are not involved in decision-making but rather only Aboringinal artefacts were protected. I was also surprise as many others that Sydney's public transport was not efficient as I had found the Monorail, city-rail trains, buses etc were very user-friendly. But I guess with population growth experienced world-wide, these transportation infrastructure are in need of upgrade. With regards to the old Olympic Park, it was quite empty especially the train-station but for me personally it was a tranquil place with a lot of breath-taking structures which would go to waste if proposals for redevelopment focuses only on population growth accommodation.

  8. Tsz Ning CHUNG tchu049October 13, 2009 at 9:30 PM


    The old Olympic Park village in Sydney is a lovely public open space. I would just like to share some photos of the village so please feel free to copy and paste the link into your Internet Explorer space.

  9. cameron wallace (4335502)October 14, 2009 at 10:46 AM

    Interesting that whitney said public transport was a big issue in sydney. I just had a group of friends attend the NRL grand final at the sydney olympic stadium and they could say nothing better about their transport system. They said that leaving the stadium with another 80,000 people waws no problem, they walked to the train station missed the train that was there and a back up came within a minute. overall to get from their seats back to the CBD took them just over 30 minutes which is remarkable and something which i feel would be unlikely at eden park after the rugby world cup final. My firends also noted that it was amazing that they could train everywhere they needed to go and wondered why Auckland couldnt do the same. these views were interesting to me as none of my firends has planning backgrounds and looks at the provision of public transport in a completely seperate light.

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  11. The way legislation/planners in Australia dealt with aboringinals seems like a stark contrast to our RMA/LGA and planners interact with iwi. This would have been the point that stuck in my mind the most. I've lived in Sydney before so already knew of the inadaquate train system when travelling from the suburbs into the city.
    @Cam: Aucklands train network doesnt do too badly when super 14 or NPC games are on at eden park. If tourists visiting NZ used it to get back into town after a game they might not realise how unreliable our trains can be half the time.
    Guttered Adam?

  12. @Josh, I agree with your comments on our trains. I have used the trains here and in Sydney and obviously find the system in Sydney far more extensive compared to ours. However our trains here are actually pretty good, I caught the train daily between Britomart and Pukekohe for just under 6 months, and in that time only 1 service was delayed due to signal failures.

  13. I was surprised and found it somewhat unusual that Whitney found the public transport system in Sydney to be of an inappropriate standard.
    Too me, Sydney is never a place that i would associate public transport problems with, unlike Auckland, however i guess that just goes to show my lack of knowledge about Sydney. Reason I found Whitney's comments so unusual though is that I have never heard anything but positive reviews about the public transport in Sydney - I guess I will have to make up my own mind when I head there in December.

  14. @Adam. Yeah sometimes it seems the ones bagging Aucklands train system are speaking from personal experience. If you've ever been stuck in peak hour traffic near sydney you have to wonder how inaccessable their train system must be to some of the suburbs out of central city.

  15. it was a very interesting presentation for me, as i have never been to Australia. the presentation help me gain more understanding of the country and raise my thought to vistit some day. it is quite suprized there are quite a few sustainable issues facing by Australia. I was thinking Australis is big in size and high in population, so there are sufficient human resourcs, such as good resources planners to deal with the problems at a much ealier stage.

  16. Yuhui Tang (4587270)October 22, 2009 at 1:36 PM

    This was a very insightful presentation as Whitney used interesting example to pointed out that the public transport system in Sydney is not in appropriate standard. I think it is important for us as planners to consider that as the technology and methodology is developing rapidly, what is alrealy available has the capactiy to assist in the process of making social sevice provision and community planning more people oriented, more effective and more equitable in its outcome.

  17. Good lecture which gave me useful info about how does AU's planning work..
    Similar to the US, Australia divided into states which act as mini countries which have some degree of independences. State government guides the regional and local governments and it is not involved much in planning decisions. The planning system is different in NSW but is similar to New Zealand.

  18. Despite the interruptions and technical difficulties, I found Whitney's lecture to be very interesting.

    Some of the aspects I found of particular interest was was how planners in Australia need to take some very different things into consideration. For instance, even when going on a site visit or the possibility of sunstroke, snakes and bushfires needs to first be taken into consideration, obviously not things that often need to be thought about in New Zealand.
    I also found it interesting to hear about the Sydney Olympic Park and what it has been used for and that there are thoughts as to what its future may be.

  19. Whitney’s presentation was very interesting. It was encouraging to see an Auckland University Bplan graduate working in Australia. What I found most interesting was when she pointed out that Sydney’s public transport system is still developing and requires a lot of investment.
    After staying in Sydney over the summer I was able to experiences public transport first hand. I think Auckland has a lot to learn from Sydney’s lessons. Integrated ticketing is very successful in Sydney, this enables patrons to use ferry, bus and train transport modes. Sydney also adopts a broader ticketing system in which you can be tickets for zoned areas, for example inner Sydney CBD, inner CBD and western suburbs and zones get larger. These tickets are varied in price and can be purchased daily, weekly, monthly and yearly or alike NZ concession passes. This promotes affordable transport and increases patron usage. However like Whitney pointed out Sydney has a large population of 4 million and its public transport system is not adequate to service the increasing population. For example Sydney’s North Shore predominately uses a bus system with little rail. Whitney highlighted greater investment is needed and pointed out a couple of projects taking place currently in Sydney to improve public transport.

    I think that there can be many improvements in both Auckland’s and Sydney’s public transport system to provide an efficient, reliable system and respond to the growing population.

    Another interesting point which could spark discussion is planning for indigenous people. It would be worthwhile to examine similarities and differences in place for Maori (NZ) and aboriginals (Australia) in the planning and discussion making processes.