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Thursday, 31 May 1973
Page: 3000

Mr HUNT (Gwydir) - The Minister for Urban and Regional Development (Mr Uren) has not accepted the Senate's amendment which seeks to change the name of the Cities Commission to the Cities and Regional Development Commission. I find this hard to understand because I believe this was a very practical and sensible alteration. It is one that the Government could well have accepted in order to give the sort of connotation that the Minister has been expressing for some time with respect to regional development and decentralisation. Unless the Government, or for that matter any government, approaches the problem of decentralisation or regional development in a comprehensive fashion so that we get a comprehensive approach to the problems of our major cities, principally Melbourne and Sydney, and the need to try to build up the population in some of the centres that have an inherent growth capacity - centres such as Orange and Bathurst, which has been named, and also Dubbo, Tamworth, Coffs Harbour and perhaps Griffith in time to come - I believe we will not make a real impact on the total problem of regional development.

I would have thought that the Government would see the wisdom in giving to the statutory body a name which would imply the real, or what should be the real, intention of the Minister and the Government. The body proposed in this legislation will need to take into account the needs of the major cities of Australia, the need to make those cities more attractive and more livable and also the need to achieve a more comprehensive spread of population if the whole expensive exercise is to be of value to the people of Australia. The Bill which was introduced by the former Government to establish the National Urban and Regional Development Authority was bailed by people on this side of the House and people outside of the House as the most significant step that had been taken by any government in Australia to try to alter the trend of ulgy development in Australia. Of course, the whole philosophy behind the move at that time was to try to approach the problem on a comprehensive scale.

I am disappointed that the Minister and the Government have not seen fit to accept what I thought was a very constructive amendment. The Senate's amendment simply proposes to change the name from the Cities Commission to the Cities and Regional Development Commission. I cannot see why the Government does not want to accept this as a fair name, as a name that would give the right and real meaning of its intentions. Perhaps the Minister will concentrate the efforts of this Commission on building new towns on the fringes of existing cities.

Mr Uren - Albury-Wodonga and BathurstOrange.

Mr HUNT - Perhaps he will follow the idea of corridor development between Sydney and Melbourne.

Mr Uren - That is right.

Mr HUNT - Is that right?

Mr Uren - Of course it is.

Mr HUNT - That is your corridor development?

Mr Uren - I have told the honourable member of the corridor. I have told him about several places and several corridors.

Mr HUNT - How do Griffith, Dubbo and Tamworth get on in this sort of corridor.

Mr Uren - You support dispersed decentralisation, which has been a failure.

Mr HUNT - Not really.

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