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The fast-growing outer suburbs of Australia’s capital cities are home to around 20 per cent of the national population. Time lags in infrastructure provision for these rapidly expanding outer suburban areas persist, despite increased investment by the Australian government in recent years, as the rate of infrastructure and service delivery has not kept up with rapid population growth. This time lag leads to poorer living conditions in the growth suburbs in comparison to the established suburbs, with the need for new residents to travel further for employment, medical and mental health services, education and other activities, leading to car dependency and other access barriers.
Understanding the benefits of federal infrastructure investment in growth areas can assist decision-making for new and timely investment. This report seeks to show how and where benefits accrue from infrastructure projects in new growth areas, and to identify future opportunities for research and policy to better quantify benefits, relative to agreed baseline data that is relevant to growth areas. This includes insight into the timing of infrastructure provision and the potential for early intervention in such provision to avoid longer term costs in other portfolio areas, such as health and social support services, as well as economic policy, and across other tiers of government.