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Urban policy lays foundation
Released 24 May 2011



The Residential Development Council (RDC) has welcomed the Federal Government’s release of Our Cities, Our Future – A National Urban Policy.    

RDC Executive Director Caryn Kakas said the policy is a good start and makes some encouraging moves toward addressing the housing needs of all Australians.

“We welcome the Government’s broad principles, goals and objectives with many of the industry’s most pressing concerns being recognised such as improving planning processes, strategic land use planning and linking up infrastructure to communities.

“However, it falls short of providing specific direction as to how these objectives will be implemented with no clear ownership of who will deliver on these worthy goals,” she said

Kakas said the policy outlines several key principles in delivery including the recognition of the essential links between housing, employment opportunities and infrastructure.

“The Government has also made a fundamental shift in their understanding of housing policy by acknowledging that housing affordability can only be delivered through ‘a suitable balance between infill and greenfield development’,” she added.

However Kakas said the instructions are missing.

“We have the box with all the numbered pieces and a picture on the outside to guide us, but we still need those directions. With all these separate pieces to assemble, we need someone in charge to ensure that the bookcase doesn’t turn into a coffee table,” Kakas said.
 
“The bold objectives outlined set the stage for a quantum shift in the way we build cities and other urban areas, but this must be done through action and must be driven by all levels of government.”