Kirsty Kelly

2 May 2013 — A new coalition of development, planning and built environment groups have today launched a plan calling for the establishment of an urban infrastructure fund and a federal department for cities and urban development.

The Urban Coalition’s plan, A New Deal For Urban Australia, recommends the establishment of the fund to attract institutional and retail investors, helping to free up national and international savings to direct funding towards urban infrastructure.

The Urban Coalition is made up of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, Australian Conservation Foundation, Association of Building Sustainability Assessors, Consult Australia, Green Building Council of Australia, Institute of Architects, National Growth Areas Alliance, Planning Institute of Australia, Property Council of Australia and the Urban Development Institute of Australia.

The Planning Institute of Australia CEO Kirsty Kelly said Australia needed to better manage population growth and that meant finding a way to fund infrastructure required on a number of levels.

“We believe there are two key initiatives that should be taken,” Ms Kelly said. “Firstly the establishment of the Urban Infrastructure Fund, and to support that we are calling for a stronger role for Infrastructure Australia through the establishment of the Department for Cities and Urban Development.

“The fact that there are ten industry groups making the call for A New Deal for Urban Australia says a whole lot about how important we all believe this is.”

“City policy must be prioritised by the Australian Government to ensure more strategic planning of our cities and regions,” said GBCA federal advocacy manager Katy Dean. “Innovative models that drive infrastructure investment based on positive outcomes can help our communities to reach high benchmarks for liveability, prosperity, sustainability and resilience.”