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Published: 6 May 2013

Call for more infrastructure investment in Australian cities

The Urban Coalition, a new coalition of built environment and conservation groups, has launched a wide-ranging national plan to tackle emerging urban challenges and improve the liveability of Australian cities.

Australia’s expanding cities need better public transport, services and affordable housing.
Credit: David Freund/istock

The plan, A New Deal for Urban Australia, calls for positive leadership and recommends the establishment of an Urban Infrastructure Fund to meet a backlog of more than $500 billion in infrastructure needs for Australian cities.

‘Australia needs a co-ordinated and strategic approach to planning, developing and managing our cities and communities.

‘Our plan requires visionary government leadership and a new Urban Infrastructure Fund to unlock investment from the private sector and meet the infrastructure needs of a growing Australia,’ says the GBCA’s Federal Advocacy Manager, Katy Dean.

The Urban Infrastructure Fund would cover a range of infrastructure projects that demonstrate benefit and value to the community, from public transport systems to schools, hospitals and affordable housing.

‘We must embrace innovative models to fund infrastructure in order to meet the challenges of demographic change, population growth and the effects of a changing climate,’ Ms Dean explains.

The Urban Coalition is also calling on the Australian Government to appoint a federal minister and establish a department for cities and urban development.

‘The GBCA has worked closely with the Major Cities Unit over the past several years. We believe that a strengthened role for MCU and Infrastructure Australia will lead to better co-ordination of policy and better outcomes for our cities and communities.

‘City policy must be prioritised by the Australian Government to ensure more strategic planning of our cities and regions. Innovative models that drive infrastructure investment based on positive outcomes can help our communities to reach high benchmarks for liveability, prosperity, sustainability and resilience,’ Ms Dean concludes.

The Urban Coalition includes the Association of Building Sustainability Assessors, Australian Conservation Foundation, Australian Institute of Architects, Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, Consult Australia, Green Building Council of Australia, National Growth Area Alliance, Planning Institute of Australia Property Council of Australia and Urban Development Institute of Australia.

Source: GBCA

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