Wins for outer suburbs; 100,000 emails

Thanks to your support, there have been some significant promises for infrastructure in outer suburbs in this election campaign.

More than 100,000 emails have been sent to politicians in support of the Fund our Future campaign, calling for a new way to tackle the challenges and opportunities in our great outer suburbs.

We know the five million residents of these areas already have nightmare commutes and that’s without the extra 2.5 million people who will call these areas home in the next 15 years. The only way to address this sustainably is through long-term planning – and a fund focused solely on the outer suburbs.

Here’s what’s happened in the community and in politics since the campaign started. We’ll be in touch shortly after the election about next steps.

Community support:

More than 100,000 emails have been sent to Canberra supporting the call for a dedicated infrastructure fund for fast-growing outer suburbs.

Our digital community has grown, with more than 100 thousand people reached through Facebook and a similar number of impressions on Twitter.

Our National Nightmare Commute Day in early June had a phenomenal impact – the hashtag #nightmarecommute trended on Twitter and there were spontaneously generated memes as a result.

We’ve had more than 200 stories in traditional media since the campaign began.

This week the influential AM Program on ABC Radio had a story about infrastructure challenges in the seat of Lindsay in Sydney’s West and the need for a fund for outer suburbs.

This joins the extensive TV, radio, print and online coverage of the campaign, which includes 150 stories in local media, 46 stories in state-based media and 7 national pieces.

The political promises:

The major political parties have gone some way to addressing the $50 billion backlog in roads, public transport and health facilities in our outer suburbs, by between them backing the majority of the projects advocated by the Fund our Future campaign.

“We are pleased to have secured commitments to the majority of the projects we highlighted in the campaign,” says Fund our Future spokesperson, Glenn Docherty.  Between them the two parties have earmarked around a billion dollars for these projects.

The Fund Our Future campaign calls for a dedicated national infrastructure fund for outer suburbs, but priority projects have been used to illustrate the sorts of infrastructure that could be a reality if a fund were established.

Here’s what the parties have said about the outer suburbs and the campaign 

One of the developments for outer suburbs was the Liberal Party’s commitment to a City Deal for Western Sydney, which would be centred around Western Sydney Airport. 

“The concept is in line with our research and our approach. We will watch with interest how it is implemented. We would also like to see a similar place-based focus on other outer suburban areas,” says Mayor Docherty.

Another welcome development comes from The Greens. The party has announced a $100 million dollar fund, with 70 percent earmarked for outer metropolitan growth areas. The Fund is for community infrastructure and while this was not a focus of Fund our Future it is an important initiative for growing outer suburbs.

The initiative is focused around community infrastructure, rather than roads, public transport and health, which Fund our Future is seeking.

A step backwards for outer suburbs is the Coalition announcement that if it is re-elected, the billion dollar National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF) will be renamed and will exclude all metropolitan areas, including outer suburbs, which previously had access to it.

Commitments to Fund our Future projects:

Both parties have earmarked $50 million for the upgrade of Appin Road in Sydney’s South West.

Also in Sydney’s West, the Liberal Party has committed to two other roads: $80 million towards the upgrade of Mulgoa Road in Penrith and $2 million towards widening Campbelltown’s Badgally Road.

The Labor party has committed to another Sydney project highlighted by the campaign: a rail link connecting the city’s north-west and south-west, which would service the new airport. If elected, a Shorten Labor Government would contribute $400 million for the rail link.

In Victoria, the Labor Party has backed three projects being advocated by the Fund our Future campaign. The $262 million Melbourne Roads Package includes four roads that have been nominated as being key priorities to address growth in outer Melbourne: Thompsons Road in the south east and O’Herns, Craigieburn and Bridge Inn Roads in the north.

In SA, the Labor Party has backed South Australia’s Gawler rail electrification ($76 million).

In Perth, Labor has earmarked $80 million for the Armadale Road Bridge over the Kwinana Freeway, linking North Lake Road with Armadale Road (referred to as ‘North Lake Bridge’ in Labor Party statements). It has also committed $1 billion for Metronet to build new lines and extend the passenger rail network across Perth, including outer growth areas and two of our priority projects – extending the northern suburbs line to Yanchep and commencing a circle line, linking the Mandurah Line to the Thornlie Line.

The Greens have indicated that as well as investing in public transport, they will invest $250m in arterial roads in suburban and outer urban communities.

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