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A Minister for Cities will help build Australia's future

Prime Minister Rudd’s commitment to appoint a Minister for Cities, if re-elected, has been welcomed by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

“We are pleased that our call for the appointment of Australia’s first Minister for Cities, with dedicated resources to help build Australia’s powerhouses, has been answered.  We applaud this announcement by Mr Rudd, and we look forward to a similar commitment from the Coalition,” says the GBCA’s Chief Operating Officer, Robin Mellon.

A re-elected Rudd Labor Government has also committed to establishing an Outer Suburban Growth Taskforce to develop a comprehensive jobs and growth strategy to address issues facing people living in the outer suburbs of our cities – such as transport congestion and limited job opportunities.

“We also welcome the commitment to expand the Major Cities Unit – but look forward to more detail on what this would entail.  We are also still waiting for both parties to provide fully costed polices to support more sustainable cities and communities,” Mr Mellon adds.

The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) and Urban Coalition have both recommended the establishment of a Minister for Cities and Urban Development alongside an Urban Infrastructure Fund to meet a backlog of more than $500bn in infrastructure needs for Australian cities and to better manage challenges such as population growth, demographic change and the effects of a changing climate.  The GBCA is a member of both groups.

“A Minister for Cities will ensure a more integrated and collaborative approach to planning and delivery of critical infrastructure, and will drive the reforms needed to connect urban built environment policies and programs across all levels of government,” Mr Mellon says.

“A coordinated approach to urban policy development is required to meet Australians’ desire for sustainable, resilient and liveable cities, and to maximise the opportunities of our cities as drivers of Australia’s productivity and innovation,” Mr Mellon concludes.