The Australian population now exceeds 25 million and data from the Bureau of Statistics suggests that figure will more than double by 2075. Of increasing concern for current and future governments, at all levels, are questions of where all of those people are going to live and work. The current trend towards urbanisation will continue as people are drawn to employment and better prospects in Australian capital cities and larger regional centres. Nevertheless, opportunities will develop for country towns and smaller regional centres to entice people to take up jobs away from major urban centres.
To enable the necessary growth, policies and management strategies will need to consider a multitude of wide-ranging issues, such as: affordable housing, employment, business and commerce, health and welfare. There must also be a significant focus on attracting investment; the design and implementation of infrastructure; and development of transportation systems. There are no straightforward answers, but systems must be integrated and broad-ranging; they will need to provide shared and connected mobility options across all aspects of a community, where low-carbon is a fundamental feature of the design.
The international attention on the effects of urbanisation, identifies simple and effective urban transportation systems as essential to successful outcomes.
Transportation systems must be integrated, easily accessible and feature low-carbon and renewable energy.
National policies are needed to inform and promote development and to encourage population growth away from capital cities, towards country centres and regional towns.
In addition to building or augmenting public transport and internal freight systems in growing regional and country centres, attention must be given to linkages with Australia’s rail freight network.