In Sydney and Melbourne, the squeeze is on. Population is booming; house prices are still rising; roads and trains are congested. Australian governments generally have ignored the benefits of relating metropolitan and regional planning.
However, some state governments are now investigating more integrated sectoral and spatial planning strategies, initially through shifting public sector jobs to regional centres.
In particular, improved regional rail connections do work. Already rail investments have brought Ballarat, Geelong and other regional centres closer in travel time to Melbourne than many outer suburbs, and this trend will continue.