The business of metropolitan planning is not the natural game of state governments. The Victorian government tries but cannot manage metropolitan Melbourne.
The rise of global cities, metropolises that dominate their states, is exposing Australia’s lack of metropolitan governments. It’s time to restart the evolution of our states after a century on hold.
The seemingly ad hoc collection of nine City Deals announced so far falls short of a national settlement strategy that finally gets to grips with where our growing population might live and live well.
Turnbull put in place the City Deals program in 2015 - aiming to create better partnerships between all levels of government. Some projects are underway, but we need more than just partnerships.
The Turnbull government’s cities policy is the latest incarnation of ‘the-Commonwealth-knows-best’ approach, with little regard for whether urban issues are best resolved at the metropolitan level.
The role both state and federal governments play in Australia’s urban regions is often incompatible with effective metropolitan governance.
Representative and accountable metropolitan government is needed to lead metro-scale planning, infrastructure investment and services, and partnerships with the private sector and civil society.