City of Gosnells Mayor Terresa Lynes has joined counterparts from growth area local governments around Australia in calling for support to address the impacts of population growth.
Mayor Lynes and other representatives from the National Growth Areas Alliance (NGAA) told Federal Parliamentarians that outer suburbs were growing twice as fast as the rest of the nation but struggled to receive funding for vital infrastructure.
The NGAA is calling for a comprehensive national approach, with all levels of government working together to address the unequal distribution of people, jobs, houses and infrastructure.
“We want to make sure the government understands the situation experienced by millions of people living in Australia’s outer suburbs,” Mayor Lynes said.
“Homes are built in designated growth zones as part of local and State government plans, but the construction often stops there.
“Freeway and highway upgrades, bus routes, railway lines, footpaths and cycle paths should all be built as part of plans which deliver housing in outer growth areas, but they are not – and this results in long drives to get to study, health services and sports facilities far from home.”
NGAA Chair Councillor Matthew Deeth said the population of growth areas had increased by 34 per cent in the past decade, while Australia’s total population grew by just 14.9 per cent, yet there was no specific funding to get basic infrastructure into these new communities.
“The municipalities the Alliance represents are home to 5.3 million people – one-fifth of Australia’s population lives in just 29 municipalities – and we’re building most of Australia’s new houses in places with the least supporting infrastructure,” Cr Deeth said.
“With another million houses to be built in the five years from 2024, Australia has an opportunity to learn from past mistakes, to build world-leading suburbs and provide the foundation for more than a million children in our areas to reach their full potential.”