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Media release
9 May, 2023

SUBURBS FINALLY IN THE SPOTLIGHT IN FEDERAL BUDGET

  • Urgent need for sustainable urban development will be addressed
  • Suburban Infrastructure receives much needed attention
  • Commitment to partnerships with local government refreshing and welcome approach
The National Growth Areas Alliance (NGAA), representing local government in fast growing outer urban areas, home to 5.3 million people, warmly welcomes the focus on suburbs within the infrastructure portfolio in the 2023-24 Federal Budget.
 
Commitments on health, cost of living and other significant initiatives announced in the budget, are very positive for new communities in the outer suburbs.
 
NGAA has long highlighted the urgent need for leadership and engagement at the Federal level to drive reforms and deliver transformational infrastructure that rapidly growing communities need.
 
The Hon. Catherine King MP, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, has delivered on election commitments to take a national approach to sustainable urban policy, and we welcome the re-establishment of the Cities and Suburbs Unit to lead this work in the Department of Infrastructure.
 
NGAA has worked hard to put outer urban growth areas on the policy agenda in Canberra. Tonight’s Budget show that Ministers are listening and taking on board the evidence base and recommendations we put forward. 
 
Outer urban growth areas are characterised by sustained and rapid population growth and record levels of building approvals in greenfield sites on the outskirts of our capital cities. In the last decade, growth area populations have grown by 34%, while Australia’s population grew by just 15%. 
 
In particular NGAA welcomes the Thriving Suburbs Program for community infrastructure in suburban communities. Outer urban growth areas suffer significant deficits in the community facilities which other urban areas enjoy, with sports and recreation facilities, community centres and green open space either missing completely or delivered decades after residents have moved in. 
 
We are pleased with the commitment to establish the Urban Precincts and Partnerships Program. Investment in place-based priorities through partnerships with state and local governments and communities is key to building productive and healthy neighbourhoods. 
 
Local government has such a strong connection to their communities, and Minister King’s commitment to recognising that connection as an asset to be put to good use is particularly welcome.
 
 
Bronwen Clark, CEO, National Growth Areas Alliance, 0448 401 257 bronwen.clark@ngaa.org.au

 

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