18 February 2020
The 2021-22 Federal Budget is a chance to implement measures that will enable the whole nation to benefit from the economic opportunities in growth areas, the NGAA (National Growth Areas Alliance) said in a pre-budget submission to the Federal Government. The NGAA has called on the Federal Government to prioritise growth area jobs and infrastructure investment in the next Federal Budget.
A vast, young and culturally diverse workforce and ample space for industry to grow are two of the reasons that Australia’s outer urban growth areas can be a vital part of Australia’s economic recovery, said Councillor Matt Deeth, NGAA chair.
“Despite the temporary migration pause, growth areas are still growing, helped by the HomeBuilder program’s stimulus of the residential construction sector. Already, more than five million people live in an outer urban growth area around one of our major cities,” said Cr Deeth.
“The change prompted by COVID-19, with many more people working from home, has been good for growth areas and is a key element of a thriving, sustainable future for the outer suburbs. The proven success of the localised work model can now be applied to delivering skills training, higher education and business support – key elements of national economic recovery, said Cr Deeth.
“We expect the 2021-22 Federal Budget to set out a clear long-term path for investment in major infrastructure across the whole of our capital cities – from the CBD right through to the newest greenfield development. This year we are looking for an equitable and consistent allocation of stimulus and infrastructure funding that seizes the opportunity for the whole nation to benefit from the economic opportunities in growth areas,” said Cr Deeth.
Growth area communities and economies have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 and the subsequent economic downturn. They were among the biggest national COVID-19 hotspots. There is increased unemployment, higher levels of mortgage and rental stress, and communities with under-resourced mental health and family violence support services in outer urban growth areas since COVID-19 hit.
On top of this, growth areas have accommodated much of Australia’s prolonged population boom, without a matching level of government investment. The result is inadequate transport, community and social infrastructure and not enough government attention on the health, education and employment prospects of communities in rapidly developed greenfield suburbs.
The priorities and measures outlined in the NGAA’s submission include:
See all the NGAA recommendations for the 2021-22 Federal Budget HERE.
Register now for the online 2021 Symposium: research and practice from Australia's growth areas. Program and tickets here.Read more
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