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Investment in our cities is mission critical, says GBCA

The Australian Infrastructure Audit, released on Friday, serves as a clear reminder of why investment in our cities is ‘mission critical’, says the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

“We commend Infrastructure Australia on the depth and breadth of the Australian Infrastructure Audit,” says the GBCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew.

“The audit underscores the importance of making our cities work – with cities expected to contribute $1.6 trillion to the economy by 2031, a 90 per cent increase on their current contribution.  It also clearly outlines the future we face if we don’t get it right – with skyrocketing congestion costs, high emissions and rising inequality just the start.

“Investment in our cities is more than financial – although innovative funding models are critical.  We must also invest in policies and programs that overcome the challenges our cities face. 

“We need programs that support capacity building and skills development at every level of the supply chain. We also need to make use of the robust, proven tools available to assist with decision-making, benchmarking and certification to ensure we meet best practice and can measure our progress,” Ms Madew says.

The GBCA calls on the Australian Government to appoint a Minister of Cities, a move industry groups have advocated for a number of years.

“A Minister for Cities would ensure a more integrated and collaborative approach to planning and delivery of critical infrastructure, and drive the reforms needed to connect policies and programs across all levels of government,” Ms Madew says.

“The price of inaction is more than the predicted $53 billion annual cost of congestion.  The price of inaction will be cities that are less liveable, productive and sustainable for future generations of Australians.  We must invest in the engine rooms of our nation’s productivity and future potential,” Ms Madew concludes.