To date, 140 submissions have been received, 27 of them from councils or local government organisations.
The Committee is examining what spatial planning mix (compact city, satellite city, etc) makes best use of natural resources, brings jobs closer to where people live, and helps ensure a high quality natural and built environment.
It is also considering what planning tools, models, indicators and alternate funding options would be required to inform an assessment of the liveability, sustainability and resilience of different scenarios of urban settlement across Australia, and what settlement policy can deliver greater social equity and better health and wellbeing.
Under its terms of reference, the inquiry is undertaking two sub-inquiries:
Sustainability transitions in existing cities:
• Identifying how the trajectories of existing cities can be directed towards a more sustainable urban form that enhances urban liveability and quality of life and reduces energy, water, and resource consumption; • Considering what regulation and barriers exist that the Commonwealth could influence, and opportunities to cut red tape; and • Examining the national benefits of being a global 'best practice' leader in sustainable urban development.
2. Growing new and transitioning existing sustainable regional cities and towns:
• Promoting the development of regional centres, including promoting master planning of regional communities; • Promoting private investment in regional centres and regional infrastructure; • Promoting the competitive advantages of regional location for businesses; • Examining ways urbanisation can be re-directed to achieve more balanced regional development; and • Identifying the infrastructure requirements for reliable and affordable transport, clean energy, water and waste in a new settlement of reasonable size, located away from existing infrastructure.
Committee Chair, John Alexander, said that while inquiry has a split focus on cities and regional centres, these different types of settlements could not be considered as separate or in competition.
“The development of cities and regional centres is interdependent. We’re looking at how the Australian Government can facilitate stronger transport, economic and social links between the two.”
“Closer relationships between our cities and regional centres will support population rebalancing and improve liveability generally,” he said.