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Australia's future cities - Labor surveys the way ahead

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iator Kim Carr c.12005 r Senator for Victoria I inister for Hawing Urban Dezdop irn Local Gozernrrvntand Territories7hun day 1 5C Doren r 2005 93/05Australia's Future Cities - Labor surveys the way aheadSenator Kim Carr today in Brisbane launched Australia's Future Cities - an ALP discussion paperon Urban Development, Housing and Local Government — in an attempt to bring the ongoingpolicy debate on these issues into the national sphere.Senator Carr said, "Urban development, housing and local government are all policy areas thatdirectly affect the way that Australians live. Our living environment — our homes and theirsurroundings, the services and facilities available in our neighbourhood — are the very bedrock ofour lives."It is also recognition that Australia's major cities generate two thirds of our GDP. Their health iscritical to our future prosperity. The Howard Government has dropped the ball on these issues - adecade of neglect has cost Australia dearly, both socially and economically"Labor has a different vision. We believe that the Commonwealth Government has a key role toplay in these policy areas and that in doing so a national government can directly impact urbaninfrastructure, housing affordability and the level of services provided to all Australians."My aim is to get a national debate rolling, and to provide an opportunity for all Australians and keyinterest groups to have their say on the policy that the ALP will take to the next election."This discussion paper outlines the issues in each of the policy areas, and presents options for theway ahead — not prescriptive policy but an insight into what I believe a national government coulddo to shape the urban Australia of the twenty first century."One of the ideas I have proposed is the development of a national settlement strategy."A national settlement strategy could provide a plan to address the future needs of Australia'scities and towns. The Commonwealth could use the strategy to inform decisions about its supportfor urban development, particularly in rapidly growing regions."Potentially, we could take pressure off our major cities by supporting revitalisation in regionalcities such as Bendigo, Ballarat, Bathurst or Toowoomba where there is demand for newdevelopment."A national settlement strategy is just one of the policy options in the paper on which I am seekingfeedback to inform Labor's suite of proposals for the next election.Further information: Kim Carr 0419 563 922, Amanda Forman, 0417 142 238.Electorate Office: 62 Lygon St CARL TON SOUTH3053 Ph: 03 9639 2798 Fax: 03 9639 3109Carnberm Office: Parlianvnt house CA NBERRA A CT 2600 Ph: 02 6277 3730 Fax: 02 6277 5911