State and Territory Planning Ministers meeting in Canberra today, called on the Prime Minister to refocus Commonwealth interest and attention on planning for Australia’s sustainable future, with an urgent need for a national summit on the future growth of our cities.
“We need to bring a national focus to planning to develop an integrated national policy on sustainable urban and regional development,” the Ministers said today.
“It is time for the Federal Government to seriously examine the impact of their population and growth policies on our urban and regional areas, particularly our cities.
“Already this week we have had the Federal Minister for Tourism calling for Australia’s population to grow to 50 million – without any regard for the impact of this on our cities.
“It is the states and territories who are left to manage the major decision about how we make our cities livable in the 21st century.
“For example, each year more than 55,000 people come to live in Sydney with a subsequent impact on our environment and demand on schools, hospitals, roads, trains, sewerage water and other infrastructure.
“In contrast Tasmania and South Australia are experiencing the negative impacts of extremely slow population growth. It is expected that it will take Adelaide about a quarter of a century to grow by the same amount – we obviously need to strike a balance.
“State and Territory Planning Ministers call on the Prime Minister to hold a national summit of all levels of government on the future growth of our cities. We urgently need national leadership on issues of such critical importance to the health, wellbeing and economic future of our urban communities.
“Good urban design and creating liveable communities also makes good business sense. They underpin a city’s competitiveness to attract a greater share of economic activity in an increasingly globalised world. The future of our nation’s economy is intertwined with the future development of our cities.
“The future of our economy is clearly a matter of national concern and the Federal Government should be actively involved in a national urban policy
“There are other issues of huge importance to Australia’s future which are crying out for a coordinated national approach and policy harmony – such as coastal protection, urban renewal, regional planning, urban design and the integration of transport and land use.
“The Commonwealth has also been notable by its absence on these critical issues.
The Ministers have also agreed to pursue a national approach on these issues and have established a series of national reform projects.
“We cannot leave future generations to tackle the legacy of poor funding and inadequate Federal attention.
“A sustainable future is critical to Australia, both the short and long term.”
The Planning Ministers will also be identifying these issues as the essential agenda at the forthcoming Local Government and Planning Ministerial Council.
Hon Andrew Refshauge, Deputy Premier, Minister for Planning, NSW
Simon Corbell MLA, Minister for Planning, ACT
Hon Nita Cunningham, Minister for Local Government and Planning, QLD
Hon Jay Weatherill, Minister for Urban Development and Planning, SA
Hon Konstantine Vatskalis, Minister for Lands, Planning and Transport, NT
Hon Alannah MacTiernan, Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, WA
For Simon Corbell, contact Kym Connolly on 0419 423 603