Sydney is one of those cities that is so beautiful and offers such a wonderful lifestyle that millions around the world want to visit each year and countless more would love to live in it. A recent Indeed.com survey survey showed it was the 4th most desirable destination for workers.
But like many things, once you’re through the looking glass, or behind the Wizard’s great curtain, the view of locals is very different.
That’s the message in a survey by McCrindle research which shows that 52% of Sydneysiders are pessimistic about how the city has developed and where it’s prospects sit now compared to 5 years ago.
The survey shows:
Sydney residents are not convinced about the direction in which their lifestyle is headed. Less than 1 in 6 (17%) say that Sydney is better than it was 5 years ago and will be even better in 5 years’ time. Overall, Sydney residents are pessimistic about the current realities and future forecasts. Almost two thirds (64%) say that Sydney is worse than it as 5 year ago, with an even larger percentage (66%) believing that it will be worse in 5 years’ time. In fact half of all Sydneysiders (50%) say that Sydney is worse than 5 years ago and will be even worse in 5 years’ time.
Most people won’t have any trouble understanding why Sydneysiders have become so glum. Everything, from $10 beers to million-dollar median house prices, is expensive.
So it’s no surprise that 73% of the 1000 survey respondents identified cost of living as the number one challenge facing the city.
Housing came in as the second biggest challenge identified by 59% of respondents. That’s a little surprising given the recent run up in house prices and the impact that has had on what Sydneysiders think about housing affordability.
Traffic and commute times came in third with 52%, no doubt a reflection of Sydney’s urban sprawl. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly the pace and stress of life was only identified by 29% of respondents as a big issue while curiously, given the very low level of unemployment in Sydney, job and employment challenges were also identified by 29% of survey participants as an issue for the city.
Infrastructure is critical. Just over 80 per cent of respondents said the city was either nowhere near keeping up with (47%) or not quite keeping up (35%) with the the needs the city has for public transport, roads, hospitals, and infrastructure.
That’s the key question for NSW Premier Mike baird and his colleagues on Macquarie Street. If Sydney is a city of around 5 million growing toward 8 million in coming decades, how exactly is that growth going to be managed?
And what is the point that people decide that, no matter how beautiful it is, it’s the wrong place to be?