A new deal for urban infrastructure

Friday, 03 May, 2013

A new coalition of built environment groups, which includes the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), wants a ‘new deal’ for Australian cities.

The Urban Coalition yesterday launched a plan to tackle the emerging urban challenges and improve the liveability of Australian cities.

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 coordinated 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,” said 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,” Dean explained.

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 coordination 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,” Dean concluded.

A New Deal for Urban Australia can be downloaded from www.gbca.org.au/advocacy/a-new-deal-for-urban-australia/34718.htm.

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