Focus on good growth, not preventing it

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Australia’s policy-makers and planners need to focus on delivering good growth, especially in our major cities, rather than looking for ways to prevent it.

“We’re a growing country and we will continue to grow in the future,” said Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Property Council of Australia.

“That’s as good thing, as growth contributes to our economic prosperity, and social and cultural well-being and diversity.

“Australia’s governments should be focused on planning and investing for this growth, not just tweaking migration numbers in search of an easy fix.

“It is pleasing to see the Federal Government recognise this in its announcements today, but the reality is that there is a lot more to be done in this area.

“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,” Mr Morrison said.

Recent research by the Property Council found an overwhelming majority of Australians believed growth can be good if its managed properly, notwithstanding the growing pains they are feeling in our major cities.

  • 75% of those surveyed agreed with the proposition that population growth is good as long as it is properly managed.
  • 72% agreed that our cities can sustain a larger population as long as they get the infrastructure right.
  • 77% thought the problems faced by growing cities often come down to governments failing to have planned properly.

[Source: Essential Research, November 2018].

“Today’s (20 March 2019) 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.

“However, the most important numbers to focus on are the real dollar commitments being made to the critical infrastructure projects which will support our growing cities.

“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,” Mr Morrison said.

Source: Property Council of Australia