Today Labor will hold a Cities Policy Forum in Footscray to examine the need for real leadership and actual investment in Australia’s cities from the Federal Government.
While the Coalition Government has spoken about cities, it has done very little to provide the investment that’s needed.
Given Australian cities produce 80 percent of our GDP, there is a need for a national response.
Melbourne’s inner west is case in point. Rapid population growth is taking its toll on the environment, driving up housing prices and increasing traffic congestion.
According to Infrastructure Australia, if left unaddressed, urban congestion will cost Australia $53 billion in lost productivity by 2031.
Under the Turnbull Government, Victoria is only receiving nine percent of Federal Infrastructure investment, despite making up 25 percent of the population.
Labor will invest in Victoria’s rail and roads.
At the election we recommitted funding to the Melbourne Metro and park and ride facilities to deal with capacity at outer stations.
Labor also committed to the development of Box Hill as a second CBD and a number of roads projects, including the M80, Monash Freeway, O’Hearns Road, Thompsons Road and Bridge Inn Road.
We did this because we understand that as our cities grow, governments need to ensure infrastructure guides growth in our outer suburbs, rather than belatedly respond to it.
The Federal Government must show leadership and invest in our nation’s cities so they can be productive, sustainable and liveable into the future.