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Proper management of the Perth Mandurah corridor essential

The Commonwealth Government will provide funds to look at options for a rapid transit system in the Perth-Mandurah corridor to help manage the growth in the south west part of the Perth metropolitan area.

Mr Howe announced that the Commonwealth will provide funds for a major strategic planning study in Western Australia under the Better Cities program as part of the Community and Nation Statement.

Mr Howe said strategic planning for this urban corridor should include looking at the essential links needed between industrial centres and the port and Perth airport.

"I also want to look at innovative ways to manage sewerage, use of water and urban runoff to improve coastal and river quality and reduce demands for scarce water resources," Mr Howe said.

Mr Howe said that in Western Australia the growth management strategic planning will be done by working in close co-operation with the State Government, local government and the community in the south western corridor of Perth.

"I am happy to say that in previous Better Cities projects in WA we have worked very co-operatively with the State Government, all the affected local governments and the private sector," Mr Howe said.

The Prime Minister, Paul Keating, today launched Community and Nation, a Statement which outlines the Government's future agenda for housing assistance and national urban and regional development issues.

"We aren't a nation of hardy bush dwellers - we are an urban nation," Brian Howe said.

"Of all the world's nations, only Hong Kong and Singapore have a larger share of their total population in large cities than does Australia - and the reasons there are obvious."

"The Better Cities program is now a proven means of achieving integrated planning and development in designated areas," Brian Howe said.

"Well designed, well managed cities, where we create and maintain a public realm which adds to our enjoyment of life, are a key part of the social wage."

"But good urban design, and good urban management are also key elements in making this nation more internationally competitive."

Strategic planning will be a partnership between the Commonwealth, State and Local Government.

Growth management is required in areas facing major population growth pressures if we are to avoid major environmental and social problems which are beginning to emerge especially in urban fringe and coastal areas.

The Better Cities program will seek to support the economic efficiency, environmental sustainability and social cohesiveness in such areas.

The Commonwealth will work more closely with State and local Government to improve urban growth management and to address future investment requirements in these areas.

The Commonwealth Government announced in the 1995-96 Budget that it would consolidate its role in the planning and development of cities by providing additional funding through the Better Cities program:

. $5 to 8 million per annum (from 1995-96) over six years to fund strategic planning studies and related development activities in all States and Territories and continued urban research and policy development.

. $200.6 million over four years to fund capital investments in developing and renewing key areas of our major cities as set out in agreed area strategies.

Mr Howe was delighted to say the Community and Nation Statement adds a further $80 million in capital funds over the next three years.

Mr Howe stressed the allocation of funding to the States will be on the basis of joint planning outcomes in agreed areas of national significance, rather than on a per capita basis, as for the first stage of the Better Cities program.

This approach will ensure capital projects are considered in a strategic framework and that proper consideration is given to economic, social and environmental issues.

For further information:

Andrew Casey, Brian Howe's Office, 018 487 581


call the Department of Housing and Regional Development, 06 289 2222