Young people in outer suburbs held back from jobs, education

Young people who live in outer suburbs are facing a double-burden: they lack access to key infrastructure, such as public transport, which could in turn limit their educational and job opportunities – according to a key lobby group.

Fast-growing suburbs on the outskirts of our capital cities have a large share of dependent children and youth groups, research commissioned by the National Growth Areas Alliance (NGAA) shows*.

A separate analysis by SGS Economics and Planning has found residents in outer growth areas lack access to adequate infrastructure, such as roads, public transport and health facilities.

As part of Youth Week (8-17 April), young people in outer growth suburbs are being urged to make their voices heard as part of a campaign, Fund our Future.

The national campaign, backed by the NGAA, calls for a dedicated fund to fix road, rail and health infrastructure problems in fast-growing outer suburbs from Cockburn in Perth to Penrith in Sydney.

“The right infrastructure – like public transport – opens the door to opportunity,” says Ruth Spielman, the Campaign Director of Fund our Future. “So this is about equal access to good roads, public transport and health facilities – no matter where you live.”

“A young, growing community should be a vibrant resource, but instead residents are being held back from reaching their potential,” says Ms Spielman.

“This is especially true for young people, who might rely on public transport more than others for educational and job opportunities.”

The work for the campaign, by SGS Economics and Planning, found $5 billion is needed each year over the next 15 years to catch up and keep up with the infrastructure needs in these areas.

In just 15 years – less than a generation – the population in fast-growing outer suburbs will have grown by half again to around 7.5 million people.

Residents and those working in fast-growing outer suburbs are encouraged to take part the Fund our Future campaign by signing and share our petition at and liking us on Facebook

*Hugo and Harris, Population Dynamics in Outer Suburbs, 2013

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