Apr 27, 2012

Gillard Government supports city growth areas

How to make the outer suburbs of our major cities more productive, sustainable and liveable is to be the subject of a major study funded by the Gillard Labor Government.

A quarter of all Australians living in cities live in outer suburban growth areas.

These areas face a variety of problems such as lack of jobs, public transport choices, ad hoc planning and retail development that comes at the expense of people-friendly streets and open space.

This study will be led by Whittlesea City Council in Victoria and will include the Town of Kwinana in Western Australia, Penrith City Council in NSW, Mount Barker District Council in South Australia and Ipswich City Council in Queensland.

All councils are members of the National Growth Areas Alliance which will disseminate the results and recommendations across the nation so that other growth areas have concrete research to guide their own decision-making.

The Green Building Council of Australia will use its Green Star communities rating tool to assist with the research.

The Practical Design for Resilient Outer Suburbs Project  will receive $335,300 in funding from the Gillard Government’s Liveable Cities program.

The study will look specifically at:

  • How to ensure development is well-designed, vibrant and people-friendly
  • How to make sure these areas are more walkable and less car dependent
  • How to better integrate public transport with new housing developments
  • How to improve job opportunities in these outer areas so people do not face long daily commutes
  • How to encourage greater economic and environmental sustainability.

From a national perspective, this far-sighted project is a great example of the kind of cooperation between governments needed to address the big challenges facing our cities such as climate change, a lack of affordable housing and a growing, ageing population.

That’s why Federal Labor has ended the Commonwealth’s self-imposed, decade long exile from our major cities and is again engaging with the states and territories and local councils to bring about a much needed urban renaissance.

As one of the most urbanised societies on the planet, Australia’s future economic prosperity and social cohesion will depend largely on how successful we are at making our cities more productive, sustainable and liveable.