A study by the University of Sydney's Urban Housing Lab concluded the closest local government area with an affordable median rental price for an entry level enrolled nurse is Cessnock in the Hunter Valley - 150 km from the nearest Sydney hospital. The study conducted for the Teachers Mutual Bank, Firefighters Mutual Bank and Police Bank, also found that many key workers are being forced to live in areas where housing may be more affordable but are lower priced because public transport is inadequate, forcing workers into long commutes.
The Sydney Morning Herald article "Key workers fleeing Sydney's inner and middle-ring" by Matt Wade, underlies the case for the NSW Department of Planning and Environment to support the six Sydney Councils seeking approval to use inclusionary zoning under the SEPP 70. Unfortunately Parramatta City Council, the local government area that has experienced the biggest net loss of essential workers (with a decline of 21.4 per cent between 2006 and 2016), is not included among the six Councils.
In our submission, Shelter NSW highlighted the ad hoc nature of the current process. The FACS Centre for Affordable Housing has identified all local government areas in Sydney as having a high to moderate need for affordable housing and Shelter NSW has recommended that SEPP 70 should apply to all Sydney Councils without the need for each Council to undertake a needs analysis.