Despite limited terms of reference, the COAG reform council's findings on its first ever report on capital cities has made the urgent need for action clear, the Greens said today.
Greens transport and sustainable cities spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said state and federal governments are "on notice" to deal with the planning crises in Australia's capital cities.
"The report is a graphic confirmation of Australian cities buckling under growing road congestion and unregulated growth. We need to get commuters and freight off roads and onto rail - a far more space efficient way of travelling - yet the Federal Government's most recent budget spent five dollars on roads for every one dollar on rail.
"Alarmingly, none of the capital city strategic planning systems were found to be consistent with Criteria Four of the Report - the nationally significant policy matters which included 10 key issues such as climate change, housing affordability, and matters of national environmental significance.
"The Report also identified three key areas on which authorities have dropped the ball nation-wide: demographic change, housing affordability and social inclusion.
"There are hits and misses in this report, but what's clear is this Report makes it untenable for governments in this country to carry on with business as usual.
"We need to fast-track outer-metropolitan consolidation, meaning infrastructure, schools, transport and aged care services to deal with shortfalls now.
"There are still big holes in this plot. The Report neglected the economic, logistic and environmental challenges of peak oil, the loss of urban bushland and biodiversity, and food security and water issues. The forthcoming budget should put an end to the policy drift documented in this report."
"We therefore strongly welcome the Report's recommendation that all governments continue to collaborate and work together on cities; and look forward to future federal budgets tying funding to the main gaps identified in the report, most notably: transport, housing and social inclusion."