Cities matter. They produce 80 per cent of our GDP and are home to four out of five Australians.
Indeed, in the Asian Century they matter even more than they did in 1972.
The opportunity is clear: by 2030, the Asia Pacific region will have a middle class of 3.2 billion people, almost twice as many as Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East combined.
By 2025, this region will produce over half of global output. Australia is fortunate to be at the world’s economic epicentre.
We must compete with our innovation, our skills and ability to deliver high value outcomes.
In the 21st century, productivity is the main weapon we have to grow national wealth, lift living standards and stay in front in the battle for international competitiveness.
Creative cities policy which boosts productivity will be critical to our success.
Labor has a 10 point plan for cities. The plan represents a comprehensive vision that goes to the heart of what makes our cities productive, sustainable and liveable.
The plan comprises:
- Investing in properly integrated transport systems involving public transport and roads
- Investing in active transport solutions which connect up with public transport, education and employment hubs;
- Addressing housing affordability through the use of urban planning, land supply and use of incentives;
- Aligning greater housing density with public transport corridors;
- Promoting jobs growth in outer suburbs. This could be through direct investment such as Badgerys Creek Airport and Moorebank Intermodal project, or by giving consideration to incentives for location of business;
- Promoting jobs growth in middle rings around cities by investing in research precincts around universities and hospitals;
- Supporting connectivity and productivity through fibre-to-the-premise National Broadband Network;
- Supporting renewable energy including buildings and precincts that produce their own power in new developments;
- Enhancing sustainability and resilience of household and industrial water supply and rehabilitating our urban waterways which for too long were used for industrial waste;
- Cooperation between Governments to promote the development of second or third CBD’s to decentralise jobs growth.
It recognises the need to create alternate employment centres, protect our urban environment, address the issue of housing affordability and ensure our cities have integrated public and active transport systems.