May 17, 2013

Building more productive, sustainable and liveable cities

Today, at the inaugural National Urban Policy Conference, I had the opportunity to meet with urban policy stakeholders and reaffirm the Federal Labor Government’s commitment to urban growth and renewal.

We are committed to building more productive, sustainable and liveable cities.

One of our greatest challenges is to make it easier to get around our cities, not just into and out of their CBDs, but across them.  Moving people and goods smoothly and quickly goes to the core of productivity.

That’s why this Labor Government has doubled infrastructure spending and committed more funding to urban public transport than all governments combined since Federation.

This week’s Budget provided record levels of Federal investment in our cities:

  • In Brisbane, there is $715 million for the Cross River Rail, a 9.8 kilometre tunnel and four new stations that will vastly expand capacity on Brisbane’s rail network;
  • The Melbourne Metro will receive $3 billion to improve the connectivity of the entire Melbourne metropolitan network and be capable of carrying a further 20,000 passengers per hour;
  • In Perth, there is a $500 million package for either the Light Rail Project or the Airport Rail Link, with the priority and construction timetables to be determined in consultation with the State Government;
  • The Sydney Motorways Program will receive $2.2 billion to assist in delivering the M4 and M5 extensions and the F3 to M2 Missing Link.

The National Urban Policy Conference is the first in a series of biennial events being hosted by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) in partnership with the Australian Government.

Today I am also pleased to launch the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics report on population growth, jobs growth and commuting flows in South East Queensland. This is the fourth in an important series of research reports examining how our cities are changing in terms of their population geography and employment, as well as their commuting patterns. Previous reports covered Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

Further information about the conference is online at http://www.nupc.com.au/.