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Featured Article

Planning on track

  • Date: 31.03.2017
  • Type: Featured Article
  • Author: Department of Planning and Environment

There is much talk of growth in our cities. However, this growth is largely driven by immigration and does not result from our government adopting a ‘Big Australia’ policy. 

People migrate to our cities because they offer the highest levels of liveability in the world. Equally, immigration benefits our existing population. 

By contributing to our services economy and expanding our narrow taxpayer base, immigration plays a vital role in supporting our ageing population and remaining competitive in the global marketplace. 

I was surprised by Bernard Salt’s call “to develop or to commandeer the best city planning talent globally”. 

It is not by chance that Australian cities regularly top liveability studies, but the direct result of decades of good work by our urban and regional planners. 

Like our cities, our registered planners are among the best in the world.

Mr Salt rightly implores us to plan for the future. PIA’s ‘Journey towards 50 million’ report identifies the emerging megatrends our cities need to prepare for by mid-century and how we can do so. 

Likewise, Mr Salt’s call for a nationally-supported strategic vision reflects PIA’s advocacy for a more Federal approach to the planning of Australia’s cities.

While we acknowledge the current rates of population growth can appear confronting, we already have world-class planners poised to meet the challenges and ensure our high standard of living continues.


Brendan Nelson
Department of Planning and Environment Deputy Secretary Growth, Design and Programs and Planning Institute of Australia President.

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