The Greens have congratulated a new alliance of peak bodies for taking the initiative with proposals for sweeping urban planning reforms.
"A New Deal for Urban Australia - released today by The Urban Coalition - sets out a vision for fixing Australia's cities and major towns, and is a stinging rebuke to Tony Abbott's destructive stance on urban policy," said Greens spokesperson for sustainable cities Senator Scott Ludlam.
"The Leader of the Opposition's only contribution to the debate has been a vow not to fund urban rail, and he refuses to commit to keeping the Major Cities Unit.
"By contrast, this new report presents a plan for a cooperative, dynamic and comprehensive multi-government approach to city planning and transport. The proposals will need scrutiny and analysis, and deserve a full public debate - but it's a strong starting point.
"With Australian cities choking on congestion, with existing public transport over-loaded and under-funded, with the price of oil rising - A New Deal for Urban Australia puts forward solutions, and vindicates what the Greens have been saying for many years -planning for transport and infrastructure is an urgent national priority.
"Anyone living in an Australian city will tell you we need to get urban planning right as a matter of urgency. With the population growing the existing problems will only get worse unless there are significant reforms to the way we plan, build and service our cities."
Senator Ludlam - in conjunction with the Property Council and Australian Urban Design Research Centre - recently produced a report on urban planning reform in Perth: http://greenswa.net.au/sites/default/files/transformingperth.pdf