Jul 6, 2015

Labor welcomes cities report

Labor welcomes the release the 2014-15 State of Australian Cities report, seven months after it was printed by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

The release of the report coincides with the deadline for a decision on my Freedom of Information request for a copy of the report.

For months, the Government has obfuscated when asked why the report has not been released, promising its release on more than four occasions.

In May Budget Estimates the Infrastructure Department Secretary, Mike Mrdak, confirmed that the report had been printed but not distributed.

We may need to junk them.

They are gathering dust …

Mike Mrdak, Senate Budget estimates committee – 28 May, 2015

Public tender documents show the Department signed an $11,000 contract with a printing agency for the 2014 report and that the contract period ran from the 8th December 2014 until the 10th December 2014, with a print date of the 15th December.

The annual report includes a comprehensive analysis of statistics and trends about the demographic and planning challenges facing major Australian cities.

These reports have reinforced the need for Commonwealth leadership in urban planning and investing in public transport to deal with congestion in our cities.

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.

An elected Labor Government will produce an annual State of Australian Cities report, ensure there is a Minister for Cities and will reintroduce the Major Cities Unit.

Labor knows we need national leadership to ensure the productivity, sustainability and liveability of our cities.