‘The Minister for National Settlement’: Inquiry Recommendation
The Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities has delivered its latest inquiry report: Building Up and Moving Out. The report addresses the Australian Government’s role in the development of cities, including future cities.
The report’s key finding is that the country needs “a national plan of settlement” to address many developing national challenges, including: housing affordability, city congestion, over development, huge costs of retrofitting infrastructure in cities, immigration levels, regional stagnation, and poor regional connectivity.
Committee Chair Mr John Alexander OAM MP stated that “a ‘Minister for Cities and National Settlement’ needs to be appointed, it is a must” … in addition to the establishment of “a ‘National Chief Planner.’”
The proposed minister would have responsibility for the development, oversight and delivery of the National Plan of Settlement, and also be tasked with boosting housing supply. The National Chief Planner would provide independent expert advice on urban and regional planning and development.
The report makes 37 recommendations addressing issues at a national, regional and local level across a broad range of subjects, including:
- Developing integrated master plans for States and Territories, regions and communities
- Pursuing a system of urban planning which promotes:
- accessibility and liveability, promoting heath and quality of life
- economic, social and environmental sustainability
- high quality natural and built environments
- access to employment
- a more compact urban form
- the concept of the 30-minute city.
- Developing a framework for the development of cities and regions outside the major metropolitan centres.
- Developing transport networks which allow for fast transit between cities and their regions, and within cities and regions, in order to foster the development of these regions
- Producing a cost of living index, including housing, at the scale of local communities to highlight the economic and lifestyle advantages of living in regional communities.
- Promoting freight access.
- Promoting sustainable and affordable housing.
- Establishing a national institute for cities research.
- Promoting City Deals and creating Regional Deals.
- Improving infrastructure project appraisal and procurement.
- Developing a system of value capture as an organising principle of infrastructure planning and procurement.
Click here to access the full report.