“Over recent years there’s been a growing recognition of the importance of integrated urban and infrastructure planning, and there’s evidence that we are getting better at it,” says Roads Australia President, David Stuart-Watt.
“But this latest report is a reminder that we have to improve further and faster to cope with our burgeoning population.
“We’re still in catch-up mode delivering infrastructure to urban growth areas established 10 and 20 years ago.
“We cannot afford to make the same mistakes in the future.”
Mr Stuart-Watt said the latest ABS population projections released last month were a clarion call to state and local governments, in particular.
“We need to build a city roughly the size of Canberra every year for the next 25 years to cope with expected national population growth,” he says.
“By 2027 alone, the populations of Greater Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne are expected to grow by as much as 600,000, 1.3 million and 1.4 million respectively.
“If we’re to have any hope of accommodating this growth and achieving any semblance of ‘liveability’ in our major cities, we must focus our thinking and planning on delivering the right infrastructure in the right place at the right time.
“At the same time, we need to factor into our thinking the likely impacts of new transport technologies and solutions.
“We are on the cusp of a transport revolution, but there is still a lot of uncertainty as to how exactly it will play out.
“We must accommodate a certain amount of flexibility in our planning scenarios to ensure we can take advantage of autonomous vehicle and drone technologies, amongst others, as and when they roll out.”