Labor’s agenda outlines six key measures to improve the nation’s cities. Source: Felix Haumann from Pexels.
  • Anthony Albanese recently outlined his Government's agenda for improving cities
  • A major part of Labor's policy agenda is commitment to City Partnerships
  • Property Council of Australia has come out in support of Labor's policy vision

Leader of the Australian Labor Party, Anthony Albanese has recently outlined the party’s policy agenda to improve the nation’s cities.

In a recent speech addressed to the AFR Business Summit in Sydney, Mr Albanese outlined six key measures to recreate cities coming out of the pandemic:

  • Transform City Deals into genuine City Partnerships.
  • Revitalise the CBD’s.
  • Renew the independent role of Infrastructure Australia in urban planning.
  • Deliver a new National Urban Policy framework.
  • Publish an annual State of the Cities Report.
  • Give local governments a voice in a meaningful National Cabinet process.

Mr Albanese said Labor will commit to ensuring current City Deals are refreshed to take into account the impacts of COVID-19.

To support this agenda, a Labor Government will look to re-establish a Cities and Suburbs Unit within Infrastructure Australia, an independent body tasked with assessing the progress of city deals.

He cited public policy think tank, the Grattan Institute, which found that 50% of the new jobs which were generated in the past 10 years were in the centre of Sydney and Melbourne – hence why city improvement needs to be a top priority to generate dynamism and innovation for employment.

For example, the Victorian Government currently has a plan for the development of Melbourne’s 20-minute neighbourhoods, a concept which aims to improves liveability by giving people access to all their daily needs – like shopping centres, public transport, employment opportunities, community gardens etc – all within a 20-minute walk from home.

Mr Albanese said taking up opportunities and challenges like this for urban planning will allow Australia to attract talent and investment from all around the world post-pandemic.

To ensure all of these developments are followed closely, the Labor leader also said his Government will work with expert bodies such as the Property Council, Engineers Australia, the Planning Insisites, and the Heritage Council to provide an annual State of the Cities Report, a report card on the progress and performance of major city plans.

The Property Council of Australia (PCA) has welcomed Labor’s policy vision for better cities and infrastructure.

“While Australia’s economic recovery is advancing well ahead of earlier projections, the economic road ahead remains very challenging. Improving the productivity of Australia’s cities and encouraging the renewal of our CBDs will be critical to future growth.

“Australian cities have long been outgrowing the capacity of their infrastructure systems, housing supply, and governance structures. Growth management needs to be done in a long-term, coordinated, and depoliticised way.

“The Property Council is a strong advocate of City Deals as a policy tool to unlock the full potential of our cities. The industry has also been a strong supporter of the important role of Infrastructure Australia.”

Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Property Council of Australia

The support comes at no surprise, considering The Property Tribune has covered PCA’s advocacy that the government focuses on infrastructure to support major cities (also see their Federal Budget recommendations).

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