Budget misses opportunities for fairer cities

The Federal Budget is a missed opportunity to provide fairness for five million residents of fast-growing outer suburbs, according to a key advocacy group.

“The Federal Government is talking about 30 minute cities, but that remains beyond the reach of outer growth suburbs and that will continue to be the case, unless there is a more serious financial commitment,” says the Executive Officer of the National Growth Areas Alliance (NGAA) , Ruth Spielman.

“Some of the commitments for road and rail projects are welcome, but the task in our areas is far greater than what’s been presented in the Budget,” says Ms Spielman, who was in the Budget Lockup.

“At the moment, residents in our areas have congested roads, poor public transport and inadequate access to health facilities. That means for our communities, it’s more like 90-minute cities,” says Ms Spielman.

Analysis carried out for the NGAA by SGS Economics and Planning shows that to catch up with the infrastructure backlog in outer growth areas – and to keep up with the expected growth -- $5 billion is needed each year over the next 15 years.

“We need a substantial commitment to address these massive infrastructure problems, which represent a policy failure by successive governments,” says Ms Spielman. “Residents and businesses in outer suburbs are paying the price. They deserve a long-term, dedicated funding response.

“This Budget is a missed opportunity to provide the fairness that residents in outer suburbs are seeking,” Ms Spielman.

The NGAA says there is little detail in the Budget on the Government’s Smart Cities Plan, which it welcomed last Friday.

The NGAA is backing the Fund our Future campaign for a dedicated national infrastructure fund for fast-growing outer suburbs. Tens of thousands of emails have already been sent by community members to their politicians in support of the campaign.

Media contact: Susi Hamilton, Campaign Communication Officer, National Growth Areas Alliance 0448 388 934.