Outer suburbs want sense as well as dollars in Federal Budget

Tuesday, 9 May 2023

This year, it’s not just about dollars for the 5.3 million Australians living in outer urban growth areas. It’s time to tackle the fundamental issues and get our national urban policy settings right.

This is what the National Growth Areas Alliance wants to see in the Federal Budget:

  1. Australian government leadership for climate adapted, resilient suburbs

A partnership model of infrastructure investment and better sequencing of infrastructure delivery, under a National Urban Policy Framework that embeds objectives for sustainable urban development in the outer suburbs.

  1. Infrastructure to transform growth area communities

We are seeking a targeted approach and commitment to outer suburban growth areas similar to the Regional Precincts and Partnerships program. We want to see long-term evidence-based funding. See our 2023 - 24 Pre-Budget Submission for infrastructure projects in growth areas.


Our recommendations on outer urban areas and urban policy are evidence based and are informed and supported by the experience of local governments in growth areas across the nation.


Why do growth areas need a specific focus?

The outer suburbs have specific characteristics and unmet needs that are distinct from CBDs and regions. They are impacted by:

  • Inadequate transport, health, education and community infrastructure
  • A long-term lack of government focus on the health, education, and employment prospects of communities in greenfield suburbs.
  • Climate change impacts that will continue to hit the outer suburbs and any unsustainable new urban development hard and will exacerbate existing structural disadvantage.

About growth areas

  • 20% of Australia’s population lives in an outer suburban growth area around our major cities
  • These areas are growing more than twice as fast as the rest of the nation – 2.9% growth compared to 1.2%. (2016 – 2021)
  • Some are growing even faster– last financial year, Melton’s population increased by 6.4%.
  • The growth areas population has increased by 34% in the past decade, while Australia’s population grew by just 15%.

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