Novocastrians Crave Change

Newcastle has dropped two spots in the latest results from My City: The People’s Verdict – a national poll conducted by The Property Council of Australia that tests views on the liveability of our cities.

The Property Council of Australia today released the latest results from My City: The People’s Verdict – a national poll that tests views on the liveability of our cities.

The survey, now in its fourth year, surveyed 5,400 people across 10 cities, asking them to rate their city on the issues that matter to them and the results show a change in the liveability scores of many of our top cities

"This is the people’s verdict on their own city – it’s a report card for Governments on how liveable our cities are," said Andrew Fletcher, NSW Regional Director – Hunter.

Newcastle registered a Liveability score of 62.9 – an increase of 0.4 points on the previous year. Of the 11 largest population centres in Australia, Newcastle is now the 6th most liveable city according to its own residents.

Newcastle was rated as having the best climate in Australia and a wide range of outdoor recreational environments. Novocastrians also felt their city was an affordable place to have a good standard of living.

But Newcastle still has a lot of work to do when it comes to cleanliness, urban design and community harmony. When Novocastrian’s were asked if their City was clean, well maintained and unpolluted, the answer was a resounding no.

The survey revealed that Newcastle residents felt the top 3 attributes in making a city a good place in which to live were;

1. That it is a safe place for people and their property

2. Having good employment and economic opportunities

3. It is an affordable place to have a good standard of living

Compared to other cities, Newcastle performed relatively well on:

  • Having a good climate
  • Having a good road network and minimal traffic congestion
  • Being an affordable place to have a good standard of living

The research also delivered a scathing assessment of the State Government’s performance on a host of issues;

  • 55% said they were poor or very poor at making housing more affordable
  • 52% said they were poor or very poor at supplying infrastructure to keep up with demand.

"The clear downside is that Newcastle currently falls well short of the expectations of its own residents."

"The research proves that Novocastrians want radical surgery to the way their city is managed and that the Government is right to push ahead with its CBD renewal strategy."

Newcastle residents were more likely to support a series of housing developments to support growth. They want good quality apartments in the city centre; more medium density housing (like townhouses) in middle and outer suburbs; and new neighbourhoods of freestanding houses built on the outskirts of the city close to jobs.

"There is no doubt Novocastrians want action to streamline the planning process and cut red tape so we can increase housing supply and attract the infrastructure, jobs and housing that the Hunter needs."

The report also shows an overwhelming majority of Australians support Federal Government action to improve our cities, particularly that housing affordability is not just a state issue.

"Overwhelmingly, Australians are clear they want the new Abbott Government to step up and take action on housing supply and affordability – they don’t want buck passing to the states.

"The My City survey makes it clear we need a nation-wide effort to boost the performance of our cities to meet the challenges of the future: population, housing, infrastructure and a strong economy.

The Property Council’s My City: The People’s Verdict report is available at www.propertyoz.com.au/mycity.

Media contact: ANDREW FLETCHER, NSW Regional Director, 0407 410 017