Australia’s policymakers and planners need to focus on delivering good growth, especially in our major cities, rather than looking for ways to prevent it, according to the Property Council of Australia.
CEO Ken Morrison said that Australia is a country and will continue to grow.
“That’s a good thing, as growth contributes to our economic prosperity, and social and cultural wellbeing and diversity,” Mr Morrison said.
“Australia’s governments should be focused on planning and investing for this growth, not just tweaking migration numbers in search of an easy fix.”
Mr Morrison said that while the federal government has recognised the need for proper planning, there is more to be done.
“We need better planning, smarter policy and city-shaping and nation-building investment to ensure that we continue to grow while providing Australians with the level of amenity and access to services they need.”
Recent research by the Property Council found that an overwhelming majority of Australians believed growth can be good if it’s managed properly, notwithstanding the growing pains they are feeling in our major cities.
• 75 per cent agreed that population growth is good, as long as it is properly managed.
• 72 per cent agreed that Australian cities can sustain a larger population as long as they get the infrastructure right.
• 77 per cent thought the problems faced by growing cities often come down to poor government planning.
“The announcement of a 160,000 cap on permanent migration essentially reflects the current level of migration and is the product of measures already put in place,” Mr Morrison said.
“Importantly, the migration program keeps a strong and sensible focus on skilled migrants who make a significant contribution to our economic productivity.
“We support the targeted measures to promote dispersal outside the big cities and these will be welcome in many parts of Australia.”
But Mr Morrison said the most important numbers to focus on are the real dollar commitments made to infrastructure projects.
“Our cities will continue to attract the overwhelming majority of migrants because they are where most Australians already live and work.
“The main game remains a strong commitment to creating great Australian cities for our current and future generations of city dwellers.”