1. The Australian government needs to increase the supply of affordable, social and market housing in cities, including using its own land for development and facilitating stock transfer from the public sector to community housing providers.
2. Sydney's role as a city that embraces innovation should be promoted, particularly in the fintech industry, and the federal government should support international students and attract global talent.
3. A national review of road pricing is necessary to reduce congestion and lost productivity, while major infrastructure projects should undergo an independent, transparent appraisal process that considers all options and benefits.
The Committee for Sydney has identified 10 key issues that it believes should be the top priority for Australian cities. The first issue is to ensure more homes are delivered in cities, including affordable, social and market housing. The second issue is to promote Sydney’s role as a city that embraces innovation and creative disruption. The third issue is to undertake a national review of road pricing. Fourthly, policies need to be put in place to attract global talent and build on the success of international students. Fifthly, arts and cultural activities need to be recognised and supported as they contribute to the vitality and success of cities. Sixthly, an independent, transparent and mode-neutral appraisal process needs to be committed to for all major infrastructure projects. Seventhly, Australian cities need to become more data-driven and tech-enabled. Eighthly, key performance measures for cities need to be benchmarked. Ninthly, the successful implementation of the Western Sydney City Deal needs to be ensured. Finally, intergenerational inequity young people face in Australia needs addressing.
The article presents a clear bias towards urban development with a focus on Sydney as the primary example of what can be achieved through government intervention in housing affordability, innovation promotion and infrastructure investment. While there are some valid points made about the importance of these issues for Australian cities generally, there is little discussion about how these issues might impact regional areas or smaller towns.
Furthermore, while there is some acknowledgement of potential risks associated with certain policies (such as road pricing), there is little exploration of counterarguments or alternative perspectives on these issues. For example, while promoting innovation may have economic benefits for Sydney specifically, it may also exacerbate existing inequalities between different regions or socio-economic groups.
Overall, while this article provides some useful insights into key issues facing Australian cities today, it would benefit from a more balanced approach that considers both the potential benefits and risks associated with different policy options.