In August 2018, Australia reached the halfway point on its journey towards 50 million – a milestone expected to be passed late in this century. Like all journeys, there will be challenges, opportunities and rewards along the way.
Some are already becoming apparent.
Australia has cities and regions that are admired the world over – energetic, innovative and diverse. We have a booming tertiary education and services sector, and a reputation as a clean and green agricultural producer. We’re well placed and located to capitalise on the Asian Century. But we lack a national plan to protect the things we value in a rapidly changing world where jurisdictional boundaries mean less and globalisation is the new norm.
Australian cities often rank highly in international liveability indexes, but there are emerging trends that need to be addressed to ensure our cities’ reputation for liveability and amenity is maintained and enhanced.
The litmus test of change in liveability for most Australians is equity of access and fairness in housing, employment and education, along with the protection of the environment and character of the places we call home. As foundations of our society, they are often tested and highlighted during periods of accelerated growth.
In a world where cities and regions compete across national borders, it is vital that Australia pursues every avenue to sustain and improve the productivity and liveability of its cities and regions.