Commonwealth push for more integrated planning

Urban Infrastructure and Cities Minister Paul Fletcher has said the Turnbull Government will use Commonwealth infrastructure funding to specifically push for transport planning to be better integrated with urban development.

In a speech at the “The Future Of Suburbia” conference on 18 April, Mr Fletcher said there was clear evidence that transport planning was a major driver of urban development.

“But it is widely agreed that we do not yet give enough attention to integrating transport and urban planning.

“The Turnbull Government is quite deliberately seeking to use the Commonwealth's infrastructure spend to drive for better integration of transport planning and urban development,” Mr Fletcher said.

And he pointed to the recent announcement by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull committing the Commonwealth to invest up to $5 billion in the Melbourne Airport Rail Link as an example of the Government’s strong focus on public transport and particularly rail.

“It [the airport rail commitment] builds on other rail investments in recent years including $95 million towards the Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2 in Queensland; $490 million for Perth to Forrestfield Airport Rail in Perth; $42.8 million for Flinders Link in Adelaide, $1.7 billion for Sydney Metro City and Southwest, and $67.1 million for Capital Metro in Canberra,” Mr Fletcher said.

As well as advocating better integration of urban planning and transport planning, the Government will use City Deals as a policy tool to drive changes to ensure cities remain liveable and productive.

“Transport decisions do not just affect the shape of our cities – they also have a powerful impact on whether our cities function effectively,” Mr Fletcher said.

“If people can get to and from work more quickly, if tradespeople and delivery drivers can get more trips done in a day, if it is easier get the kids to sport on a weekend – that has efficiency, productivity and lifestyle benefits.”