Australia's population reached 25 million last week, according to official estimates, and it continues to grow every day with a new resident added to Australia every 83 seconds.
Sydney and Melbourne, which account for two-fifths of the country's population, face real growing pains amid this insatiable influx.
Both cities remain on track to meet and exceed ambitious targets to house new arrivals, but infrastructure remains problematic.
The urban sprawl continues outwards with medium to high level density housing developments transforming once rural regions.
Nowhere are these changes more noticeable than in Sydney's western suburbs where rapid urban infill has transformed empty paddocks into residential suburbs.
Suburbs such as Penrith, Narellan and Box Hill have experienced a population boom and developers have responded by snapping up greenfield land parcels to accommodate new arrivals.
The dramatic transformation of Western Sydney over the past decade has been captured in a series of specialist images released by aerial imagery company Nearmap.
“Our imagery reveals just how extensive the face of Western Sydney has changed but this is just beginning,” Nearmap executive Shane Preston said.
“With the Australian Government planning to invest $2.9 billion over the next ten years to accommodate the region’s population growth to 9.9 million by 2036, we can expect to see even more change in the years to come.”
“Building the right infrastructure for urban growth is a challenging task but access to sophisticated technology will ensure our urban areas remain places people want to live while supporting a booming population.”
North West Sydney
Last year the Greater Sydney Commission unveiled its vision of “A Metropolis of Three Cities”.
The goal, three mini-cities within Sydney by 2056, the Eastern Harbour City, the Central River City and the Western Parkland City.
The overriding vision was for Sydneysiders to live within half an hour of their jobs, education, and services.
Furthermore, each of Sydney's three cities would be connected with each other through new transport links.
The most significant investment agreed upon by federal, state and local governments has been in the Western Parkland City due to the space Western Sydney currently offers.
The region is now proposed the single largest planning, investment and delivery partnership in Australia’s history, aimed at delivering the new airport and connecting infrastructure.
The Greater Sydney Commission claims the Western Sydney airport will act as a catalyst for a new “Western Economic Corridor”, providing 28,000 jobs within five years of its 2026 opening.
“This city deal is a historic change for the better for Western Sydney,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said.
“Western Sydney is undergoing enormous change ... change that in the coming decades will continue to turn this region into an even greater economic powerhouse than it is today.”
South West Sydney
With the western district due to bear the brunt of the population growth, the plan has identified a need for 190,000 new homes by 2036 and proposes releasing large tracts of land to form new walkable neighbourhoods close to public transport.
Last month, the NSW government’s land and property development arm, Landcom, unveiled plans for a $390 million development for 1,100 homes adjacent to the new Tallawong Metro Station.
Plans for a $3 billion Showground Station Precinct masterplan was also unveiled earlier this year with plans to build 3600 new dwellings on the nine-hectare site.
Construction of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis has also officially commenced with the turning of the first sod at Sydney's new Science Park last week.
The first stage of the development at the 280‐hectare Luddenham site includes a mix of commercial, residential (with a proposed 3,000 new homes), education and open space.
Parramatta has also been busy for some time transforming from Australia’s oldest inland city into a second metropolitan centre aiming to anchor the Central River City.
Sydney-based developer Deicorp recently received approval for its $700m 'Highline Westmead' project comprising of 900 apartments over 10 buildings.
Parramatta Eels and Western Sydney Wanderers fans will soon have a new stadium to call home as part of a $360 million redesign.
Sydney has constantly wrestled with its history as an unplanned but naturally blessed city, where unchecked development competes with liveability and beauty.
The key question remains, is infrastructure being built fast enough to deal with the growth.