Mar 1, 2017

Coalition abandons evidence-based decision making

Answers provided at Senate Estimates reveal that the Coalition has walked away from evidence-based decision-making through its decision to abolish the State of Australian Cities report.

The annual report is intended to produce comprehensive analysis of statistics and trends about the demographic and planning challenges facing major Australian cities.

Despite this Estimates heard it would no longer be published.

This follows more than three years of obfuscation about the future of the State of Australian Cities report.

During this time only one report was publicly released, a joint 2014-15 edition, which was half the size of the reports issued under Labor.

It was downloaded three million times when published by the former Labor Government, and was heralded as a tremendous success and great resource by industry and policy experts.

This decision to dump the report is only one in a string of poor policy decisions when it comes to urban policy.

Upon its election the Coalition abolished the Major Cities Unit, disbanded the Urban Policy Forum, marginalised Infrastructure Australia and failed to initiate a single new public transport project.

At a time when urban congestion is acting as a handbrake on our nation’s economy, housing costs have hit record highs and climate change is creating serious consequences for our cities, the Government should be using evidence to inform its decision-making, not walking away from it.