- Tech & Gadgets
- BRW. lounge
Published 17 July 2012 14:53, Updated 18 July 2012 05:26
The Federal Government’s Productivity Commission should measure and compare the performance of Australia’s cities in managing issues such as transport, congestion, waste and overall liveability, a new industry report says.
As the populations of the major cities rise - and surge in some regional centres - the commission is well placed to set up benchmarks to measure the effectiveness of infrastructure spending and encourage different jurisdictions to follow the best practices adopted elsewhere in the country, the report by industry body Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and engineering firm Arup says.
“Australia’s governments spend tens of billions of dollars each year on urban infrastructure, so measures that track the effectiveness of that investment over time will help to increase the efficiency of public infrastructure investment,” says Infrastructure Partnerships Australia chief executive Brendan Lyon.
“Developing a common dashboard that allows us to see how Sydney is performing relative to Perth, Melbourne or other cities would allow everyone to see the degree of progress in getting our cities working better.”
The commission should also work through the Council of Australian Governments’ Reform Council to assess how well state and local authorities across the country are integrating planning and infrastructure use, particularly in areas such as transport, the report says.
“Jurisdictions should move to vest transport policy and planning functions within a single agency, spanning all modes, ensuring a much higher degree of integration between and across modes,” the report says.
Between 2008 and 2030, Sydney’s population is due to rise 29 per cent to 5,654,428. Melbourne will increase 36 per cent to 5,292,696, Brisbane 46 per cent to 2,844,536, Perth 51 per cent to 2,415,387, Adelaide 22 per cent to 1,431,699, Canberra 7 per cent to 421,250, Hobart 21 per cent to 253,303 and Darwin 50 per cent to 175,822, the report says, citing Australian Bureau of Statistics data.
The greatest increases, however, will come in regional centres such as the Sunshine Coast, which will more than double its population to 510,484 and Geelong, which will jump 78 per cent to 307,508. Planning infrastructure differently will also mean funding it in different ways, the study says .
“Our study also calls on all jurisdictions to develop smarter, more integrated and more efficient approaches to the way infrastructure is conceived, operated and funded.
“New infrastructure is only part of the solution; Australia’s cities will increasingly need to consider the demand side of the equation too. This will mean difficult decisions about the role of pricing in maximising the value of existing investment in transport networks and other infrastructure services such as electricity, water and waste,” the report says.