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A new government report into the planning of Australia’s capital cities, released today, has been welcomed by industry groups as ‘essential’ for the country’s progression and ability to handle a growing population.
The Capital Cities Strategic Planning Systems Review, launched by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Reform Council, has been met with enthusiasm from the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) today.
The co-ordination of key objectives is integral in ensuring growth in the cities, said ASBEC Cities Task Group chair Romilly Madew.
With 85 per cent of Australia’s forecasted 35 million-plus population to live in cities and regional centres by 2050, Ms Madew explained that reform and review are very much encouraged to ensure sustainable growth.
“Australia’s cities are the economic engine rooms of our economy and are instrumental in achieving the future productivity growth necessary to keep our economy running,” she said.
However, this cannot be a 'one-off' if the schemes are to be a success, she said.
“Cities need to remain in the spotlight and state governments must be accountable to ensure effective capital city strategic planning well in the future.
“It is essential, to ensure the sustainability and liveability of our urban environments, that COAG continue with the reform process that has been started by the Capital Cities Strategic Planning Review. Capitalising on the strong commitment to collaborative processes will ensure our cities remain the envy of the world for decades to come.”
The reforms were also welcomed by ASBEC member, the Green Building Council of Australia.
The call to action for this reform was the lack of policy clarity across all levels of government, and inconsistently managed programs, said GBCA executive director of advocacy and international Robin Mellon.
With 40 different federal programs and strategies, and over 500 local governments, this new streamlined approach will be one of the most important planning strategies Mr Mellon said.
"Clearly, we need an integrated, co-ordinated and nationally-consistent approach to the strategic planningand management of our capital cities,” he said.
"We can't afford to get it wrong when it comes to the planning and management of our cities."
ASBEC president Tom Roper said that getting the planning wrong with cities will be a costly exercise and therefore these reports, and the resulting actions, will be critical for residential property and planning.
“While capital cities will continue to accommodate the majority of Australia’s population, projected future growth in regional centres will also demand COAG attention to ensure that increasing pressures are supported by the necessary infrastructure development,” said Mr Roper.