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Wednesday, 22 August 1973
Page: 194


Mr LAMB (LA TROBE, VICTORIA) - The Minister for Urban and Regional Development has been reported in today's newspapers as saying that he does not favour inner-city freeways in Melbourne or Sydney and that roads for the motor car will be constructed on the terms of the Australian Government. I ask him: Does this mean that the Australian Government will give money to the States for road construction only on the condition that none is spent on inner-suburban freeways?


Mr UREN - My attention has been drawn to a statement by the Minister for Transport in Victoria to the effect that I should not meddle in State affairs. His comment related to my statement on freeways. The responsibility for the road policy of the Australian Government comes under the joint administration of my colleague the Minister for Transport and myself. We work as a partnership in that regard. The question of freeway and road investment in cities is important. One of the basic policies put forward by the Prime Minister at the last election was the Government's policy on cities. The Government believes that freeway and road policy is an important aspect of investment in cities. We realise that the motor car has to be accommodated for a lengthy period and we know from overseas experience that the motor car has become a monster in the inner city areas.

The Australian Government is moving towards a policy of opposition to inner city freeways. It accepts the proposition that freeways have a role to play in the middle and outer areas of cities where they may circle major business areas; but it sees no future for inner-city freeways. I stress to this Parliament that the Australian Government's policy in regard to cities is that all its investment - whether that investment is in freeways and roads under the Commonwealth Aid Roads Act, whether it is under the CommonwealthState Housing Agreement, or whether it is in our new proposals for sewerage, in our new cities program, in our land commissions or under the Grants Commission - is interconnected. The Australian Government is involved in cities. We will be working in cooperation with State and local government authorities,. We want the 3 levels of government to work as a partnership because we believe that to be the only way that the problems of Australian cities can be solved.







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