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Melbourne to pip Sydney as Australia's largest city

Staff Reporter 4 minute read

By: Belinda Luc

Melbourne is expected to overtake Sydney as Australia’s largest city in the next 25 to 30 years, a new report has found.

The report, Going Nowhere, prepared by BIS Shrapnel and the Urban Taskforce, said Sydney’s failure to meet metropolitan housing targets and accommodate an increasing population will be its downfall in the future.

"Melbourne with its long-term population growth of 1.3 per cent a year, will displace Sydney as Australia’s largest city in 2037,” Urban Taskforce chief executive Aaron Gadiel said.


"This should alarm every Sydneysider.”

According to Urban Taskforce, without reform NSW could enter a downward spiral by 2020 as the nation faces the demographic challenges of an ageing population.

Mr Gadiel said the report shows that at mid-2009, the resident population of Sydney was approximately 500,000 larger than that in Melbourne, down from 660,000 in 2001.

"The gap between Sydney and Melbourne is already closing rapidly – Sydney’s lead has been reduced by 20 per cent over the space of just eight years," Mr Gadiel said.

"Over the past decade, Melbourne has proved far more capable of accommodating extra people than Sydney."


Victoria is currently building new homes at twice the rate of NSW and Melbourne’s population is projected to increase to 5.7 million by 2036.

"Without reform the new supply of additional homes would only reach 17,000 a year, well below the minimum 25,000 a year that would be required for Sydney to keep its head above water," Mr Gadiel said.

Melbourne to pip Sydney as Australia's largest city
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