Feb 25, 2014

Abbott abandons cities

Tony Abbott must clarify whether he has sacked members of the Urban Policy Forum.

Last night in Senate estimates Infrastructure Department Secretary Mike Mrdak confirmed that the Urban Policy Forum had not met since the Coalition took office and was ‘unlikely to meet again’.

I established the Urban Policy Forum in 2012 to bring together government, industry and planning experts to provide the Commonwealth with advice about urban policy.

[Media release: http://anthonyalbanese.com.au/urban-policy-forum-to-provide-stakeholder-advice-on-cities]

Just last year I spoke of the importance of sound evidence-based urban policy as the cornerstone of productive, sustainable and liveable cities.

[Speech: http://anthonyalbanese.com.au/speech-the-urban-productivity-challenge-state-of-australian-cities-conference]

Nothing has changed.

You cannot grow the economy and improve people’s quality of life in the absence of sound urban planning.

Since taking office, Mr Abbott has scrapped the former Labor Government’s Major Cities Unit, refused to invest in urban public transport and abandoned any Commonwealth involvement in cities.