Business Council statement on the government’s Smart Cities plan

29 April 2016

“The government’s Smart Cities Plan will position us better to capitalise on the growth opportunities of our major centres,” Business Council Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said today.

“Australian cities are already some of the most liveable in the world, and well-functioning cities are central to the transitioning economy,” Ms Westacott said.

“If we can improve the productivity of our cities, and manage their growth well, the Australian economy will be significantly more competitive in attracting talent, investment and tourism.

“It is great to see the Commonwealth show leadership and take its rightful role as an enabler and facilitator of cities.

“We welcome the government’s commitment to think of technology solutions first, which will improve the technological readiness of our cities and improve the efficiency of existing infrastructure.

“Our cities will function at their best if we adopt a cooperative approach between levels of government, and between government and the private sector.

“City Deals will be a useful vehicle for encouraging closer coordination between governments.

“The implementation of City Deals will need to consider a fresh approach to planning instruments that encourage the co-design of cities between different levels of government and the private sector.

“The use of productivity payments from the Commonwealth to states and territories is a compelling way to encourage necessary regulation reform, including for planning systems.

“Robust metrics will also help to ensure planning is driven by clear economic and liveability outcomes.

“We welcome the government’s commitment to work with the private sector and different levels of government to enhance the productivity, innovation and competitiveness of our cities.

“We will work with the government on the design of the infrastructure financing unit, to develop project teams that integrate the public and private sectors,” Ms Westacott said.


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