Growth Areas and the 2022 Federal Election

20 May 2022

As growth area councils know all too well, Australia’s politicians are still playing catch up with the vital infrastructure and services needed by the 5.2 million people who live in a fast-growing outer suburb. Unfortunately, it’s no game for growth area residents living without accessible travel networks, healthcare, local jobs or vital social infrastructure.
During the election campaign, we have shared our research showing that these shortcomings are contributing to people in the outer suburbs experiencing some of the highest levels of financial stress and mental health problems nationwide. Our next research report will provide evidence of the benefits of infrastructure investment in growth area communities.
The focus on housing affordability this election means that regardless which party gets the chance to implement their housing policies, continued housing market stimulus will impact on the outer suburban population boom. Without urgent federal government action, the outer suburban infrastructure and services deficit will grow.
Since 2019, an extra 216,000 new homes have been built in growth areas. Wyndham Council in Melbourne’s southwest grew almost three times as quickly as that of metropolitan Melbourne in 2019-20. South-east Queensland’s outer-suburban Moreton Bay and Ipswich had Australia’s highest net population increase through 2020/21.
The Western Parkland City in Sydney’s west is projected to house 1.7 million new residents by 2036. In this region, the suburb of Camden is experiencing the highest growth rate in Australia, with 200 new residents moving in the area every week. Growth areas around Adelaide and Perth experience similar pressures.
During the election campaign, the NGAA has focused on the broad policy areas of infrastructure, cities policy, jobs and training, and community services. These are the big issues that we will take up with whoever forms government after the election.
Our research pinpointed four national priorities for growth areas which we have shared with politicians in meetings and conferences over the past year, and in a communique signed by growth area Mayors in March:
1. A Minister for Growth Areas
2. Transformational infrastructure in outer urban growth areas
3. Support the outer suburban workforce and industries
4. Community recovery and resilience in the outer suburbs.
We are advocating for policy and funding decisions with a long-term, considered impact on growth areas. In the lead up to the election, we are pleased with significant commitments from both major parties in line with our national priorities, including some major infrastructure commitments.
Whichever party wins government after tomorrow, we will hold them accountable for their election promises and work with them for better policy outcomes for the 5.2 million Australians living in the outer suburbs.

More News

Experts to Discuss Innovative Solutions for Housing Crisis at Upcoming NGAA Congress

21 . 05 . 2024

As Australia grapples with a housing crisis, a new approach to tackling the shortage will be the focal point of the upcoming National Growth Areas Alliance (NGAA) Congress. The event, themed “Building Australia’s Newest Cities – A Model for the New Wave of Growth,” aims to foster innovative solutions and thought leadership to address this pressing issue.

Read more

Slow silos won’t solve housing headache. NGAA says ‘there is a better way!’

10 . 05 . 2024

The National Growth Areas Alliance (NGAA) welcomes Infrastructure Minister Catherine King's Western Sydney funding announcements in the lead up to the 2024/25 Budget release. While a step in the right direction, they must be matched by a coordinated response across and within State and Federal Governments. 

Read more

Collaborative Solutions for Housing: Insights from ULI Global Futures Conference

03 . 05 . 2024

With housing affordability a pressing issue, it is clear that no single entity can address these challenges alone. Collective action and partnerships are essential for driving meaningful change and ensuring that cities are inclusive and accessible for all. This was a key takeaway from last month’s Urban Land Institute (ULI) Global Futures conference “Cities in Transformation”. 

Read more

2024 Annual Congress: "Building Australia’s Newest Cities – A Model for the New Wave of Growth

30 . 04 . 2024

Penrith City Council is proud to be the host of the National Growth Areas Alliance (NGAA) Annual Congress, set to take place in Penrith, Western Sydney, 29 – 31 May 2024. The Congress, themed "Building Australia's newest cities – A model for the new wave of growth," promises to be a pivotal event in shaping the future of urban development in Australia.

Read more