New KPMG report assesses capital city planning systems

BUILT Environment Meets Parliament (BEMP) last month released a report by KPMG that assesses and reviews capital city planning systems. The report is in response to recent Council of Australian Governments (COAG) reforms to capital city strategic planning systems.

Built Environment Meets Parliament (BEMP) is an alliance of leading property industry groups, comprising the Property Council of Australia (PCA), Australian Institute of Architects, Planning Institute of Australia (PIA), Consult Australia and the Green Building Council Australia (GBCA). BEMP conducts an annual summit – focusing on the built environment – between parliamentarians and the property and building industry.

The purpose of the KPMG report is to establish a baseline of performance against the COAG criteria and against a range of independent indicators, in an effort to determine and assess the performance of capital city planning systems in Australia. The COAG criteria includes aspects such as integration of strategic planning systems, presence of plans, infrastructure, land release policies, urban design and effectiveness of implementation arrangements.

Among the report's 11 recommendations, are: greater Commonwealth Government involvement in metropolitan planning, the establishment of metropolitan delivery agencies in each capital city and for metropolitan strategies to take precedence over all planning instruments.

In terms of overall performance of capital city planning systems in relation to compliance with COAG criteria, the KPMG reports states that it is "clear from our assessment that Australia's capital cities are not yet operating at a level that demonstrates sound performance in relation to the nine COAG criteria."

The relative scoring for each capital city shows that Melbourne is ranked 1st, Brisbane 2nd, Adelaide 3rd, Perth 4th, Canberra 5th, Sydney 6th, Darwin 7th and Hobart 8th. The report shows that overall, cities are struggling most with implementation and infrastructure COAG criteria.

The report also assesses planning systems against "key external indicators", including budget alignment, housing affordability for key workers and congestion. Performance against these external indicators ranks Adelaide 1st, Canberra 2nd, Hobart 3rd, Brisbane 4th, Darwin 5th, Melbourne 6th, Perth 7th and Sydney 8th.

More information on the report, 'Spotlight on Australia's Capital Cities - An independent assessment of city planning systems', is available from the Built Environment Meets Parliament (BEMP) website at <>.

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