11 September 2010
Todays decision by the Prime Minister to rationalise ministerial responsibilities for urban development will lead to better federal decision-making, according to the Urban Taskforce. The Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said federal government responsibility for urban affairs had previously been fragmented between four ministers, responsible variously for housing, infrastructure, environment and sustainable population.
We welcome the Prime Ministers decision to collapse three ministerial jobs into one, by appointing Tony Burke as a super minister, Mr Gadiel said.
Mr Burkes appointment as Minister for Sustainable Population, Communities and Environment removes the need for the appointment of a distinct Housing Minister and a separate Minister for Environmental Protection.
It means that between them, Tony Burke, and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese hold the future of Australias cities in their hands.
Mr Gadiel said huge challenges lay ahead for the Federal Government.
A lack of infrastructure investment and a serious housing shortage have created severe urban pressures, he said.
Major supply side reforms are required to get more private investment flowing into new housing.
The government has committed to introducing a population policy, but its crucial that this be used as means for guiding new federal urban infrastructure investment, rather than trying to constrain our nations successful cities.
Never before has the Federal Government assumed such a major role in planning the future of urban Australia.
Mr Burke and Mr Albanese will have their work cut out for them, but the industry is ready and willing to work with them.
The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australias most prominent property developers and equity financiers.