Australia

Planning Institute releases Election Platform 2016; calls for a national strategy and forward-looking cities agenda

THE Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) has released its Federal Election Platform 2016, arguing that the Federal Government has an important role to play in supporting good planning at a national level and ensuring that Australia's resources are utilised appropriately and our tax dollars well spent.

"Planning is integral to the Australian way of life. Planning strengthens communities, promotes economic development and improves the choice of where and how people live and work," PIA said in a statement.

"Good planning helps identify hazards and reduces risk – creating a level of certainty that enables households and businesses alike to invest in a better and more resilient, sustainable future. This is critical in light global megatrends including population growth, climate change and technologic disruption."

Australia seen from space at night
Above: Australia seen from space at night / by Craig Mayhew and Robert Simmon.

PIA CEO Kirsty Kelly said the Institute has identified resource scarcity as a future megatrend that will influence the quality of life for current and future generations.

"It is in the community's interest that planning systems and outcomes are supported and properly funded at national, state and local levels," Ms Kelly said.

PIA's Federal Election Platform 2016 sets out 10 key points that it says should form part of the government's plan to use good planning to leverage greater liveability, productivity and sustainability in our cities and regions.

The 10 points of PIA's Election Platform include:

  • Commit to a Minister for Cities, supported by a well-resourced, dedicated team that has professional expertise in planning, infrastructure, economics, transport and related disciplines, and skills in collaboration and brokering integrated outcomes across complex areas of policy and implementation.
  • Implement a forward looking cities agenda focussed on innovation and the integration of land use planning, infrastructure and productivity, which informs key investment decisions that address vital urban freight and passenger transport priorities.
  • Elevate the importance of planning for our major cities and regions and the need for greater collaboration by establishing a Planning Ministerial Council.
  • Develop a national strategy to guide the timing, nature and distribution of Australia's population growth and development across our cities and regions to support strategic planning to accommodate the anticipated population growth and demographic change.
  • Think beyond the political cycle by considering plausible responses to the megatrends addressed in PIA's landmark publication Australia: Journey Towards 50 Million and working collaboratively with key public and private experts and stakeholders to plan for change.
  • Facilitate greater integration and collaboration of federal government with state and local government activities, in concert with the private sector and academia so that planning policy and implementation supports the delivery of liveable, productive and healthier, resilient built environments.
  • Formulate an urgent response by the Australian Government to the recommendations of the Australian Infrastructure Plan prepared by Infrastructure Australia, and then implement that response.
  • Guided by PIA's Planning Systems Principles, incentivise the states/territories to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and productivity of their planning systems in a manner that is focused on positive planning outcomes for the communities of now and the future.
  • Fund urban and regional planning research priorities to provide an evidence base for decision making on the future sustainable development of our cities and regions that is cognisant of national and global challenges.
  • Recognise and use the expertise of the planning profession, particularly Registered Planners, and the critical role they play in using planning to leverage more effective and efficient outcomes for economic and social capital investment in the built environment.

More information is available from the Planning Institute of Australia website at <http://www.planning.org.au/>.

Photo: 'Australia seen from space at night' / Craig Mayhew and Robert Simmon, NASA/GSFC / Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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