Five strategies to manage Australia’s growing cities

$140 $261.3 million $121 million Urban Congestion Fund Melbourne roads

The Property Council of Australia has laid out five strategies for the future Federal Government to cope with cities’ population growth.

Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Property Council of Australia, said Australia’s major cities are among the fastest-growing in the developed world.

“The way we plan for and invest in our cities will have a huge impact on our future economy and quality of life.”

Ahead of the 18 May federal election, the Property Council has released a policy platform which includes several proposals to create great Australian cities, including:

  • Accelerate City Deals across all capital cities and targeted regional cities
  • Create a Cities Advisory Board to improve city planning around major infrastructure projects
  • Fund a Future Cities Cooperative Research Council
  • Invest more in productive infrastructure according to the Infrastructure Australia priority list
  • Restore the Asset Recycling Fund to incentivise major state projects

City Deals must go further

The Property Council has been a long-time champion of the City Deals model, first proposing the concept in 2014.

City Deals have been developed for Western Sydney, Townsville, Launceston, Darwin, Hobart, Geelong and Adelaide and are in progress for Perth and South East Queensland.

Mr Morrison said the City Deals framework developed under the Coalition Government has sharpened the focus on city-shaping projects and engaged all three tiers of government.

However, he argued City Deals must be scaled up to take on the bigger challenges facing our cities.

“Given Melbourne’s rapid growth and national economic significance, it is the obvious missing link in the City Deal framework and should be a priority for the next federal government,” Mr Morrison said.

“Delivering good growth in our cities and regions demands more than just tinkering with immigration levels.

“Good growth requires real policy purpose and investment in priority infrastructure projects to help our cities and their residents reach their full potential.

“We’ve made a good start but need to keep the momentum going.”

Mr Morrison said the Property Council supports targeted measures that promote dispersal outside the big cities, and these measures are welcome in many parts of Australia.

“However, the most important numbers to focus on are the real dollar commitments being made to the critical infrastructure projects which will support our growing cities,” he said.

“Our four biggest cities will continue to attract the overwhelming majority of migrants because that is where most Australians already live and work.

“Let’s keep our eye on the main game: great cities for current and future generations of Australians.”

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