The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC), the peak body of key organisations committed to a sustainable built environment in Australia, has called on all federal elected representatives to commit to a shared long-term vision for stronger, thriving cities, supported by targeted policy measures.
The ASBEC has just released Thriving Cities, a federal policy platform which identifies reforms that are needed at a national level to deliver broad and impactful outcomes for Australian cities. The key actions outlined in the document are:
- Invest in improved policy and governance, including a National Settlement Strategy, continuous improvement of city funding programs and better procurement.
- Deliver more balanced business cases to realise better value from our infrastructure investments.
- Improve housing outcomes for more affordable, equitable and sustainable living.
- Adopting key recommendations of the House of Representatives Standing Committee’s Building Up and Moving Out report.
ASBEC’s President, Professor Ken Maher AO, says that Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world, and this is set to continue as our cities keep pace with population and economic growth.
“ASBEC’s recommendations aim to ensure that the cities we build for future generations deliver healthy, liveable, productive and sustainable communities that we are all happy to call home. Time to act is running out.”
Chair of ASBEC’s Cities and Infrastructure Task Group and Interim CEO of the Green Building Council of Australia, Jonathan Cartledge, also commented that this Federal Election comes in the wake of a clear multi-party consensus on the importance of a national approach to cities policy that delivers for all Australians.
“From our CBDs and outer urban growth areas to our regional centres: a coordinated, national approach to urban policy will help us tackle those most intractable challenges associated with population settlement, productivity, climate and demographic change, and a low-carbon future.”
“We encourage all parties to leverage this consensus across the Parliament, and support the re-appointment of a Minister for Cities and the re-establishment of a Major Cities Unit within the Australian Government.”
Mr Cartledge detailed that in recent years they have seen incredible collaboration across governments and with industry and communities around Australia to deliver better cities.
“ASBEC’s recommendations provide a roadmap for that collaboration to continue and the benefits to grow,” he said.
The ASBEC believes that the realisation of these reforms will depend on visionary leadership, coordination across all spheres of government, and effective engagement with communities, industry and business.