26 October, 2022
The October 2022 Federal Budget is a cautious one, with some wins for Australia’s growth areas and a housing proposal that raises many questions.
The Government is focusing on five key areas: paying interest on debt (the biggest cost in the entire budget), aged care, defence, health care and the NDIS. The overwhelming theme of the government briefing sessions attended by NGAA CEO, Bronwen Clark, was the need for responsible and transparent processes. The Albanese government’s stated commitment to transparency is good news for the NGAA and other advocacy groups, as is the commitment rebuild the public service and rely less on consultants.
Budget wins for Growth Areas
We are pleased to see Budget commitments that align with our Budget Submission and policy platform:
Education: 20,000 extra university places for students from disadvantaged areas, Childcare Subsidy and the Youth Engagement Strategy
This is a big win for NGAA members with $10.5 million for a new Youth Engagement Model including establishing an Office for Youth, ongoing funding for Australia’s national youth peak – the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition, issue-based youth advisory groups and the development of a Youth Engagement Strategy.
Infrastructure: As expected, there is a refocus of infrastructure commitments on major projects. In coming days, MPs will announce smaller local projects which have secured funding with hopefully some positive news for NGAA members.
Funding continues for the Western Sydney City Deal, the South East Queensland City Deal received a major boost (related to the 2032 Brisbane Olympics) but there is no further mention of the North and West Melbourne City Deal in the budget papers.
The Housing Accord – to build one million new well-located homes over five years from 2024 – has the potential to transform Australia’s cities and suburbs. But this scheme also raises questions for outer urban growth areas.
While this will provide much-needed housing, NGAA Members are concerned by the scale of the program, having already experienced 600,000 new builds in the last decade and seeing the lack of Federal and State commitment to the infrastructure and services the people living in those houses need.
More than ever, the Housing Accord will require national coordination. We will reiterate our calls for a Minister for Growth Areas to use this opportunity to build the world’s best new suburbs.
ABC TV: An hour and a half to drive 3km — why is traffic so bad in Melbourne's outer suburbs? NGAA CEO Bronwen Clark is interviewed.Read more
AAP News: Australian workers living in the outer suburbs of cities need roads to get to work and business hubs developed closer to where they live.The one in five Australians who live on the outskirts of major cities are missing out, according to an alliance of councils from across the country.Read more
Business Daily Media: New jobs and skills legislation will “fall flat without investment into the infrastructure serving communities in Australia’s outer suburbs,” according to NGAA Chair Matthew Deeth.Read more
In growth areas, so much of what governments are dealing with is completely new. The NGAA Symposium showed that this is fostering an ethos of fresh new thinking, partnerships, and different ways of working with growth area communities. Presentations available here.