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Thursday, 31 May 1973
Page: 3001

Mr UREN (Reid) (Minister for Urban and Regional Development) - I do not want to delay the Committee, but I want to explain that both spokesmen for the Opposition do not really comprehend the purpose of the Cities Commission. A Department of Urban and Regional Development has been set up and the Cities Commission will be a physical arm of that Department. It will be. a bridge between the Commonwealth and the States. I might say in answer to the humbug that the 2 former Ministers spoke that during the 23 years of their Government's administration the population of the rural areas of this country fell from 31 per cent to 14.7 per cent of the total population. That shows how much the previous Government cared about regional development.

This Government will be developing regions in corridors. Albury-Wodonga, between Sidney and Melbourne, is the first area which will be developed. We will be developing, in co-operation with our State colleagues, growth centres in other areas such as the Bathurst-Orange area. We will be conducting studies in the corridor between Sydney and Brisbane. We will be conducting studies and arriving at decisions in respect of the corridor between Melbourne and the La Trobe Valley. We will be making studies in areas in the corridor between Melbourne and Adelaide. We will be developing growth centres in these areas. But let us be clear about it; we oppose completely the concept of the Country Party and the negative attitude of the Liberal Party - the former Government that was in government for so long - of dispersed decentralisation. Our concepts will be determined on the basis of special regional growth areas. That is where our energies will be directed, and this Cities Commission will play an important physical role in that development.

Amendments disagreed to.

Resolution reported; report adopted.

Motion (by Mr Uren) agreed to:

That Mr Daly, Mr Enderby and the mover bo appointed a committee to draw up reasons for the House of Representatives disagreeing to the amendments of the Senate.

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