Australia

2013 State of Supply Report highlights the need for urgent action on housing supply: UDIA

THE peak body representing Australia's development industry last week welcomed the Australian Government's decision to release the first stage of the National Housing Supply Council's 2013 State of Supply Report, titled 'Changes in how we live'.

The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) said the released section of the report reaffirms earlier research done by the National Housing Supply Council (NHSC) showing that Australia has a severe housing shortage, rising housing costs and falling levels of home ownership.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Australian Government releases Terms of Reference for review of Renewable Energy Target

FEDERAL Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane and Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt last week announced the release of the Terms of Reference for a review into the Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme, which was established to encourage additional investment in renewable energy generation.

The scheme is designed to deliver the equivalent of 20 per cent of Australia's electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Under existing law, a review is due to be undertaken every two years, including in 2014. The review will be undertaken by an expert panel, headed by Dick Warburton and will include Matthew Zema, Brian Fisher and Shirley In't Veld.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Report highlights essential funding changes for public transport: ARA

WORLD-CLASS transport systems can be achieved in Australian cities if governments at all levels get smarter about funding public transport investment, according to a report released this month by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA).

The 'Innovative Funding and Financing for Public Transport' report aims to encourage discussion on how public transport investments are funded and financed in Australia. It explores funding tools successfully used in cities, states and countries around the world and outlines financing reforms to support greater investment from the private sector.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Dwelling approvals down by 2.9 per cent in December 2013

FOLLOWING a revised fall of 0.3 per cent in November, the number of new dwellings approved in December decreased by 2.9 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms, according to the latest building approvals data released this month by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

A total of 16,141 dwellings were approved in December, compared to seasonally adjusted totals of 16,619 in November and 16,675 in October. However, when compared to the same month in 2012, the number of dwellings approved in December 2013 was 21.8 per cent higher, in seasonally adjusted terms. The trend estimate for total dwellings approved rose 1.5 per cent in December 2013 and has risen for 24 months.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Rail up to 60 per cent cheaper than road in reducing congestion: ARA study

AN economic study commissioned by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has found that investing in rail is the most cost effective transport solution to reduce road congestion in two of Australia's fastest growing cities, Brisbane and Perth.

The study, titled the 'Value of Action versus the Cost of Inaction', found that investing in rail instead of roads would cost 57 per cent less in Brisbane and 38 per cent less in Perth and would achieve the same reduction in traffic congestion.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Dwelling approvals fall by 1.5 per cent in November 2013

THE number of new dwellings approved has fallen for the second consecutive month, with a seasonally adjusted decrease of 1.5 per cent recorded in November, following a revised decline of 1.6 per cent in October, according to the latest building approvals data released this month by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

A total of 16,396 dwellings were approved in November 2013, compared to seasonally adjusted totals of 16,640 in October and 16,905 in September. The trend estimate for total dwellings approved rose 2.4 per cent in November 2013 and has risen for 13 months.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Scope to fix regulatory framework for major projects: Productivity Commission

THERE is substantial scope to improve Australia's development assessment and approval regulatory framework for major projects, according to a report released last week by the Productivity Commission that benchmarked Australia's major project assessment and approval processes against international and domestic best practice.

The report, 'Major Project Development Assessment Processes', identifies long approval timeframes, conflicting policy objectives, duplicative processes, regulatory uncertainty, inadequate consultation and enforcement and regulatory outcomes falling short of their objectives as areas requiring attention.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Dwelling approvals decrease by 1.8 per cent in October 2013

THE number of new dwellings approved in October 2013 decreased by 1.8 per cent, following an upwardly revised gain of 16.9 per cent in September, in seasonally adjusted terms, according to the latest building approvals data released last week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

A total of 16,491 dwellings were approved in October 2013, compared to seasonally adjusted totals of 16,791 in September and 14,363 in August. The trend estimate for total dwellings approved increased by 1.9 per cent in October and has risen for 22 consecutive months.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Social housing tenants mostly satisfied with housing: AIHW report

WHILE social housing tenants are mostly satisfied that their housing meets their needs, their level of satisfaction is affected by a range of factors, according to an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report released last week and based on the results of a national survey.

The report, 'National Social Housing Survey: detailed results 2012', presents national level analysis as well as state and territory comparisons across social housing programs, which includes public housing, community housing and state-owned and managed indigenous housing (SOMIH).

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Government must support shift to market-based approach to infrastructure provision: BCA report

THERE is plenty of private capital available to help meet Australia's future infrastructure needs – estimated to be at least $760 billion over the next 10 years – provided governments can get the regulatory and reform settings right, according to the Business Council of Australia (BCA).

Eight areas for reform have been highlighted in a new report for the Business Council by PwC that examines the funding and financing options to secure the significant investment required in roads, railways, ports and utilities in the decade ahead.

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Australia's population projected to double by 2075

AUSTRALIA'S population is projected to double to 46 million by 2075, according to the latest population projections released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), which also show that Melbourne could overtake Sydney to become the most populous city by 2030.

"Based on our projections, with medium growth, Australia will double its population by the year 2075," said Bjorn Jarvis, Director of Demography at the ABS, before adding that under high and low scenarios, it could be as early as 2058, or after 2101.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

BITRE releases report examining population growth, job growth and commuting flows within Australia's largest cities

THE Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) last week released its first comparative study of spatial changes in population, jobs and commuting patterns within Australia's largest cities, with a focus on recent patterns of change in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth between 2001 and 2011.

The report, which also includes an overview of change in other capital cities and regional cities, identifies some common trends and differences across the cities, and investigates the extent to which these recent spatial changes match up to the stated strategic planning goals for the four largest cities.

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Federal Government introduces Infrastructure Australia Amendment Bill 2013 to Parliament

DEPUTY Prime Minister and Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss last week introduced the Infrastructure Australia Amendment Bill 2013 to Parliament, which aims to strengthen the role of Infrastructure Australia through a change in its governance structure and through better clarification of its functions.

In his second reading speech, Mr Truss said that while the government fully supports Infrastructure Australia in its role as a key advisor to government on infrastructure project and policy reforms, it is committed to strengthening it by restructuring its governance, clarifying the scope of its responsibilities and entrenching its role as a key adviser to government.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

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