Australia’s first Urban Policy Forum is today holding its inaugural meeting in Canberra, bringing together a former Deputy Prime Minister and a recently retired Premier with experts from across government, industry and academia.
This gathering of individuals with extensive experience and expertise in all facets of urban policy marks the beginning of the next stage in the Gillard Labor Government’s efforts to make our cities and large regional centres more productive, sustainable and liveable.
I will also take this opportunity to announce that my Department’s Major Cities Unit along with Infrastructure Australia will partner with the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) to host a conference series showcasing high-quality research for decision makers and professionals involved in urban policy and planning.
The first of these conferences will be held in Sydney early next year.
Making out cities work better is about more than just a better quality of life for those Australians who live in them. We are one of the most urbanised societies on the planet and our continuing economic prosperity will largely depend on how successful we are at this task.
Forum members will use today’s meeting to outline their priorities and begin discussing ideas for turning the principles and goals set out in our National Urban Policy – Our Cities, Our Future – into a plan of action.
They will also review our highly successful State of Australian Cities report and suggest improvements which could be incorporated into its next editions.
I thank all members for accepting my invitation to be part of the Forum and look forward to receiving regularly updates on their deliberations and recommendations for advancing our ambitious agenda for our nation’s cities.
The Urban Policy Forum is expected to meet again later this year.
**A full list of Forum members is attached.