Australia

Dwelling approvals rise 7.4 per cent in March

THE number of dwellings approved rose 7.4 per cent in March 2012, in seasonally adjusted terms, following a revised fall of 8.8 per cent in February, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Dwelling approvals increased for the month of March in New South Wales (49.3 per cent), Western Australia (11.1 per cent) and South Australia (4.2 per cent), but decreased in Queensland (-8.7 per cent), Tasmania (-6.7 per cent) and Victoria (-5.0 per cent) in seasonally adjusted terms.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Planning Institute of Australia recognises planning excellence

INNOVATIVE and unique planning projects from across the country received top recognition at the 2012 Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) Awards for Planning Excellence, held last week at a gala dinner at the Adelaide Convention Centre as part of the PIA National Congress.

A strategy aimed at addressing community dysfunction caused by the mining boom, a 20 year Urban Renewal project for Brisbane and a plan to make cities child and youth friendly were among the winners.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Koala protected under national environment law

ENVIRONMENT Minister Tony Burke yesterday today announced Australia's most at-risk koala populations will be included on the national list of threatened species.

Minister Burke has decided to list koala populations in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory as vulnerable under national environment law.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

First results of government-backed homelessness study revealed

A NEW Australian Government study that follows the lives of more than 1,600 Australians who are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless will help shape future policy, Housing and Homelessness Minister Brendan O'Connor said yesterday.

The first results from the 'Journeys Home: Longitudinal Study of Factors Affecting Housing Stability', a two-year study being conducted by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, were released this week at the National Homelessness Researchers Conference 2012 in Melbourne.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Report identifies a number of unnecessary local government regulatory burdens for business

A DRAFT report released this month by the Productivity Commission has identified a number of areas of local government regulation that place unnecessary regulatory burdens on Australian businesses.

According to the Productivity Commission, of most concern to business is the costs they face from local government planning and zoning assessment and building and construction regulation.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

City planning needs to improve: COAG Reform Council

A REVIEW of Australia's capital cities by the COAG Reform Council has found that governments need to do more to plan better for the future land use, infrastructure and economies of our cities.

The Council's report, released last week, found that while governments have shown strong commitment to improve their planning systems, none of their systems are entirely consistent with COAG's agreed criteria to re-shape capital cities.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

New approaches needed for population change management: CEDA report

A NEW Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) report released late last month is calling for changes in how Australia manages population change, to ensure smooth delivery of services and infrastructure.

CEDA, Chief Executive, Stephen Martin said the issue of population is critical to social and economic policy with significant and wide ranging implications for all Australians, yet the present debate in Australia seems focused on small isolated issues such as asylum seekers or ultimately unreliable long-term population forecasts.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

ACIF releases updated forecasts for construction sector

THE Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) last week released its latest update to the ACIF Forecasts, saying they revealed fundamental structural changes in the economy are having a big impact on employment in the construction sector.

Engineering construction, largely driven by mining and gas developments as well as their associated rail, port, pipeline and road infrastructure, has overtaken residential building as the most important source of work and jobs for the construction industry, according to the forecasts.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Dwelling approvals retreat by 7.8 per cent in February

THE number of dwellings approved fell 7.8 per cent in February 2012, in seasonally adjusted terms, following a revised rise of 1.1 per cent in January, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

Dwelling approvals decreased for the month of February in New South Wales (-41.2 per cent) but rose in Queensland (13.0 per cent), South Australia (10.1 per cent), Tasmania (10.0 per cent), Western Australia (5.7 per cent) and Victoria (1.1 per cent) in seasonally adjusted terms.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Nation's growth rate remains steady but outer suburbs surge

FOR the fourth consecutive quarter, Australia's annual population growth rate remained steady at 1.4 per cent for the year ending 30 September 2011, according to new figures released last week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Western Australia continues to have the fastest growing population in the country, increasing by 2.6 per cent (or 60,700 people) in the year to 30 September 2011. Victoria's population increased the most in absolute terms, adding 82,600 people over the year (1.5 per cent).

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Property Council launches 'Make My City Work' campaign

THE Property Council of Australia last week launched a new national campaign, 'Make My City Work', which aims to draw attention to cities and stimulate action on the issue of growth.

The campaign calls on members and the public to join the campaign for a 'new deal' for Australia's cities that would drive practical change and create more productive, liveable and sustainable cities.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Grattan Institute launches new report: Social Cities

CITING data that reveals people's friendships and neighbourhood connections have diminished over the past two decades, a new report released by the Grattan Institute explores how the way we build and organise our cities can help or hinder social connection.

Launching Grattan's report, 'Social Cities', Cities Program Director Jane-Frances Kelly emphasised that relationships are critical to wellbeing and that a lack of face-to-face contact can put our health at risk.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Adelaide crowned Australia's most liveable city: survey

ADELAIDE is Australia's most liveable city according to a new survey of city dwellers' views of their own city, commissioned by the Property Council of Australia.

The study – now in its second year – once again crowns Adelaide as Australia's most liveable city, closely followed by Canberra, with Melbourne and Perth tying off for third place.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

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