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Keeping the momentum for outer suburbs

In the months leading up to the Federal election, we saw the challenges and opportunities of rapid population growth in the outer suburbs take a high profile in Government policy and funding.

There was significant momentum about issues affecting the outer suburbs going into the election campaign period. The National Growth Areas Alliance (NGAA) now looks forward to continuing to work with the Prime Minster and his Cabinet to deliver real outcomes for the five million people in Australia’s fast growing outer suburbs.

Our Alliance’s election platform remains as relevant as ever and we will continue to advocate for policies and funding commitments to Catch Up with the outer suburbs.

There is no doubt that the five million people living in Australia’s fast growing outer suburbs played a key role in the outcome of the 2019 Federal election – but not as many pundits had tipped.

Where at least five seats in the outer suburbs of Melbourne and Perth had been widely expected to be won by the ALP, they produced a swing to the Coalition instead. And where the redistribution of divisional boundaries in other areas had been expected to produce a swing to the Coalition, the result did not reflect this scenario.

As we wait for the new Government to be sworn in, and a new Cabinet appointed, it is important to take stock of the commitments made in the lead up to the election.

Outer suburbs influenced policy and funding commitments from both major parties, starting with the release of the Morrison Government’s Planning for Australia’s Future Population in January. The Plan outlines policy initiatives to manage the future distribution of Australia’s population growth and better plan and build cities that can function well for the people who live and work there.

The 2019-20 Federal Budget also contained a range of commitments to improve infrastructure in growth areas, with significant allocation of the expanded Urban Congestion Fund going to the outer suburbs.

The NGAA is ready to pursue those commitments made during the campaign itself, in particular advice of a returned Coalition Government’s intention to commence two new City Deals in Melbourne’s north west and south east.

While we work with the Government to pursue these significant developments in Australia’s urban policy landscape, we will continue to advocate common sense strategies to catch up with the needs of outer suburban communities.

In particular, strategies to better address our two election priorities – ‘Create jobs where the workforce lives’ and ‘Build the facilities to build communities’.

We will continue to pursue our vision of government policy and funding catching up with the five million people who already live in Australia’s outer suburbs.

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