The Australian Greens have welcomed the new national urban policy forum, but urged the Government to put its money where its mouth is.
"We've finally got what looks like a meaningful step forward - and need to see this translated into strong, decisive action," said Greens sustainable cities spokesperson, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam.
"Up until now we have seen some good ideas pursued in only a half-hearted way. The oversubscription of the Sustainable Communities program, where 170 applications have been received to build or design sustainable infill housing at the city or suburb scale, all competing for $10m of funding this year, is a perfect example of this. The Government needs to catch up with the hunger for this action in the community.
"We call on the Minister to reverse current policies that have eroded the Government's urban policy credentials. It is great that they've given $58m to Cooperative Research Centres to research water sensitive cities and low carbon living, but, for example, why not reinstall the Federal rebates for household water efficiency like rainwater tanks and greywater systems they abolished in the last budget?
"Creating an Urban Policy Forum is an important, positive step. The composition needs to be right and the priorities need to be right. We've seen successive Federal Governments pour money into roads while neglecting rail and completely ignoring cycling, and we've seen poorly planned and poorly executed urban sprawl run rampant.
"If the Government is serious we must see more action on infill, zoning, public and active transport, energy and water efficiency, building codes, and on sustainable infrastructure designed with a renewable energy future in mind."
Media Contact: Giovanni Torre - 0417 174 302