Sep 23, 2013

Coalition takes Australian cities back in time

Axing the Major Cities Unit in the Infrastructure Department is another backwards step by the Coalition, confirming they have no plans to ease congestion in our cities or make them more liveable.

As one of the most urbanised nations on the planet, Australia’s continuing prosperity will largely depend on how successful we are at making our cities work better.

The Major Cities Unit provides coordinated policy, planning and infrastructure advice across government, the private sector and the community, helping secure economic, environmental and social wellbeing in our major cities.

Axing this unit is quite simply dumb, showing once again that the Coalition’s thinking is stuck in the past.

It follows the Coalition refusing to fund any new public transport infrastructure.

One of the first victims of this out-dated ideological stance is Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project, which will have $715 million ripped away from it.

This unbalanced approach is being replicated across the country and will inevitably lead to more gridlock, worsening congestion and a poorer quality of life in our cities.

The national government always has a role to play in promoting the productivity, sustainability and liveability of our cities, including breaking the back of urban congestion – a problem which is on track to cost our economy $20 billion a
year by 2020.