Aug 16, 2017

City deals at the Liberal’s whim

Last night the Liberal Government’s ad hoc approach to our nation’s cities was exposed in the Infrastructure, Transport and Cities Committee’s public hearing with the Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet.

Representatives from the Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet confirmed that not only is there no clear source of funding, but that there is also no process in place to guide selection of future City Deals.

Decisions about which cities are the subject of City Deals are entirely arbitrary.

What’s clear is that if it’s a City Deal you are after then you had best just cross your fingers and hope for the best.

The fact is that Mr Turnbull’s City Deals are a far cry from the UK model it seeks to replicate.

City Deals originate from the United Kingdom as vehicles for co-operation between national and local government on shared economic development goals.

The national government delivers infrastructure funding based on these shared objectives and shares any resulting revenue increases with the councils.

Labor supports greater investment in our cities but what we have seen in Australia are political fixes.

The three City Deals proposed in last year’s federal election campaign, in Townsville, Launceston and Western Sydney, all came in response to actual infrastructure investment commitments by the Labor Party.

The Prime Minister should provide real investment instead of more rhetoric so our cities can continue to grow and be great places to live and work.