4 October 2019
Today’s launch of the Australian Government's Centre for Population by the Hon Alan Tudge MP, Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, is a welcome step in a marathon of policy shifts that are required to address the pressing needs of growth areas.
We look forward to resource allocation for growth areas that is commensurate with their actual population growth, so that we do not repeat the scenario of growth areas accommodating 35% of Australia’s population growth but only receiving 13% of Federal infrastructure investment (2011-16).
The new Centre’s focus on tracking actual data, integrating and sharing population data from across the Commonwealth and, should the states agree at COAG later this year, from within their jurisdictions as well, is a sensible and welcome development.
Members of our Alliance – fast growing cities, towns and suburbs on the outskirts of our capital cities - tell us of the poor outcomes from having different sets of numbers used by different tiers of government to plan housing needs, transport capacity, and project demand for health and education services.
The result is evident to anyone living in one of Australia’s growth areas: gridlocked traffic on suburban roads that were never designed to cope with the increased demand, public transport that arrives in a new suburb a decade after its residents, communities with lower access to educational, social and recreational facilities that many Australians take for granted.
Member Councils of the National Growth Areas Alliance need infrastructure investment to reflect their actual population growth to not only plan for future growth, but also to catch up with the needs of the five million people already living in growth areas.
Planning for Australia’s future population, the Government’s strategy to ‘manage current challenges and develop long term plans' is a first step in the marathon of significant policy shifts required to address the needs of growth areas - but we need to catch up first.
New data showing that commute times have risen by 23 per cent is no surprise for frustrated residents of fast-growing suburbs and cities.Read more
NGAA has been invited to submit a collated list of growth area projects to be considered for inclusion in the Infrastructure Priority List 2020.Read more