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Three Priorities for Great Australian Cities

Three priorities are the pathway to great Australian cities according to Professor Greg Clark, global cities expert, who addressed Mayors, Councillors and executives from Australia’s fastest growing outer suburban Councils at the National Growth Areas Alliance (NGAA) Congress in the booming south west of Sydney this week.

“People, investors, visitors and businesses want the opportunities, lifestyle and promise of having the Australian dream in the metropolitan city,” said Prof. Clark. 

“However, getting in front of metropolitan growth challenges requires renewed leadership,” Prof. Clark said.

Prof. Clark said that in order to achieve good growth, Australia’s fast growing cities need three things, starting with innovative metropolitan governance that can integrate land-use, planning, transport, housing, amenities, infrastructure, and services.

He went on to say that longer-term infrastructure investment systems with the capacity for continued growth over many decades are vital, along with collaboration between different tiers of government and political parties, working alongside civic-minded business leaders and engaged citizens.

Chair of the Alliance, Mayor Glenn Docherty of the City of Playford in Adelaide’s north, backed Prof. Clark’s call for long term infrastructure investment systems and improved co-operation between different levels of government.

“In the last 10 years, the city limits of Australia’s mainland capitals have been extended time and time again. The distances that some of our neighbourhoods extend to reach 60 or 70 kilometres from the CBD. Many Australians, and many decision-makers in Canberra would be astounded by the distance, and be surprised by the vitality, dynamism and diversity of our neighbourhoods – if they visited regularly,” Mayor Docherty  said.

“Australia’s outer suburban growth areas are home to almost five million people. There is a major opportunity here for three levels of government to work together to build the great suburbs and the cities of the future, ” said Mayor Docherty.

During his address to the Congress, Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Minister, The Hon. Alan Tudge MP told Alliance members that the “turbo charged” growth in some of our cities was well above population forecasts and that getting good data on growth was essential for the future.

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Cities, The Hon. Anthony Albanese MP spoke at the Congress about equity in our cities, and said that we shouldn’t be able to determine a person’s outcomes simply by knowing their postcode.

The 2018 National Growth Areas Alliance Congress was co-hosted by Camden Council, Campbelltown City Council and Wollondilly Shire Council and looked at the impacts of rapid population growth on our cities. The population in the fast growing outer suburbs of Australia’s capital cities has doubled from 2.24 million to 4.46 million in just one generation – about double the national average rate.

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