[IMAGE: Courtesy of 2GB]

New South Wales Premier Chris Minns is back to his old tricks. This time he has floated the redevelopment of a Sydney racecourse to create a ‘mini city’ that could be home to as many as 75,000 new residents.

Rosehill Racecourse would be relocated to make way for a new ‘mini-city’ with 25,000 homes with an extra Metro West station under a plan devised by Minns and the Australian Turf Club (ATC). The Sydney Morning Herald reports the turf club, which owns the track, has proposed moving the racecourse to another site.

The ATC proposal would see it develop Rosehill Gardens into a residential, entertainment and parkland precinct that’s anticipated to raise $5 billion. The premier labelled it a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to build more homes and tackle Sydney’s housing crisis.

“This is exactly the type of proposal my government has been talking about over the last six months. The more supply we have, the more we can drive down cost-of-living pressure, whether it’s for renters or those wanting to buy their own home,” Minns told the Herald.

In just nine months since ‘winning’ office, the Minns Labor Government has attacked golf courses, bowling clubs and now racecourses. It appears any green space in Sydney’s metropolitan area is ripe for the picking.

In October, Minns announced plans to reduce Moore Park Golf from 18 holes to nine. Twenty hectares of the iconic public course is slated to be repurposed into parkland by mid-2026 to cope with huge population growth in the area. That’s despite the fact there is 189 hectares of green space at nearby Centennial Park.

The premier later conceded he made the decision after lobbying from City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore who has long advocated for the golf course to be transformed into parkland. It’s worth adding that at the 2023 NSW election, the Minns Labor Government didn’t win enough seats to form a majority and relies on three independents to pass legislation.

Elsewhere, properties on crown land face substantial rent increases from the NSW government. For instance, Bondi Bowling Club has been slugged with a rent increase from $22,000 per year to $95,000. Many volunteer-run clubs face the reality of closure.

The irony is that Minns criticised the NSW Liberal Government’s sale of fixed electricity assets. It appears Labor’s focus is to convert any asset not pinned to the ground into something to relieve Sydney’s residential problems. Clean up: aisle 4.

Liberal. Labor. Two cheeks of the same arse.

Minns, 44, was first elected to public office in 2004 as a Penshurst ward councillor to Hurstville City Council. Minns left the council in 2008 after serving a single term. He subsequently worked on the staff of Carl Scully and John Robertson, two powerbrokers in NSW politics. Since being elected as the Member for Kogarah in 2015, Minns has enjoyed a meteoric rise in state politics. In June 2021, Minns was elected unopposed as leader of the NSW Opposition. Now as premier he’s attempting to single-handedly solve the state’s housing crisis.

Any Sydney resident would have to wonder what’s next to be targeted to enhance residential development. Surf clubs? Sailing clubs? You have to wonder whether the only form of exercise in future may be a stroll at the local high-rise shopping centre.

If NSW had a theme song, surely it would be a rendition of the Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers classic, “Islands in the Stream”. Re-imagining the lyrics, we would sing:

Apartments in the sky
That is what we are
Stacked up in-between
How can we be wrong
Flail away with me to another world
And we rely on each other, ah-ah
From tax payer to another, ah-ah