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Melburnians Support Better Planning for Good Growth

A clear majority of people who live in Melbourne believe that a failure to plan properly is causing problems faced by our growing cities and that population growth can be good if it is planned properly.

72 per cent of people who live in Melbourne believe population growth can be good provided it is managed properly. 77 per cent of Melburnians also believe that the problems faced by growing cities often come down to governments failing to plan properly.

These are among the key findings from a national survey commissioned by the Property Council of Australia on attitudes towards population growth in our major cities. They are being released ahead of next week’s COAG meeting in Adelaide where the Commonwealth, state and territory governments will discuss a new framework for better managing the impact of population growth.

The online survey of 2,936 respondents was conducted between 13-23 November and included respondents in all state and territory capitals except for Darwin.

Cressida Wall, Victorian Executive Director, said the survey results showed that while there were some growing pains in our major cities, especially Melbourne and Sydney, they strongly favoured better planning to manage our growth in the future.

“Australians like their cities, with most saying they are good to great places to live,” said Ms Wall.

“We haven’t done a very good job in the past of planning for growth and our cities are feeling the pressure now which is giving rise to concern about the rate of growth.

“This survey shows Australians are not against growth, but they want it better planned and managed.”

57 per cent of people who lived in Melbourne rated their city as a good place to live (ranging from ‘fairly good to excellent’). 30 per cent of survey respondents rated Melbourne as an excellent place to live.

“Australians generally like the cities where they live, but clearly believe we could be doing a lot better on planning and infrastructure to manage their growth,” added Property Council CEO, Ken Morrison.

“Australians have thrown down the gauntlet for all levels of government – get on with the job of planning and investing for a growing Australia,” Mr Morrison said.

Feeling the growing pains

Concerns about growth are greatest in our east coast capitals.

72 per cent of respondents from Melbourne and 70 per cent in Sydney thought their city was growing too fast. 60 per cent of Brisbane respondents thought their city’s population was growing too fast.

By contrast, only 36 per cent of respondents from Adelaide thought their city was growing too fast, compared to 44 per cent in Canberra, 46 per cent in Hobart and 46 per cent in Perth.

Only 27 per cent of those surveyed thought their city had handled population changes in recent years well.

77 per cent of respondents agreed with the proposition that problems faced by growing cities often come down to governments that have failed to plan properly.

61 per cent of respondents in Melbourne agreed that politicians are guilty of blaming migration for their own lack of planning that has caused congestion in our cities.

Nationally, almost all respondents (96 per cent) thought the federal, state and territory governments had a very important or fairly important role in making their city a better place to live, followed by local government (94 per cent), development and construction companies (92 per cent), local businesses (92 per cent) and community groups (88 per cent).

Media contact: Cressida Wall | M 0415 831 603 | E cwall@propertycouncil.com.au