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Capital cities, regions and population growth

New cities and regional centres planned to ease squeeze in capitals. NEW cities and bigger, better regional capitals will be part of the solution to urban sprawl and stressed infrastructure. This is the what Sustainable Population Minister Tony Burke has predicted. But Mr Burke has ruled out a national population target for Australia if a Gillard government is re-elected, arguing such targets make sense only in regional areas.

Townsville ready for growth, but with strings attached. TOWNSVILLE Mayor Les Tyrell reckons the north Queensland city is in a prime position to become a key regional capital. That is, as long as the state and federal governments chip in with infrastructure funding. Federal Sustainable Population Minister Tony Burke yesterday praised Queensland Premier Anna Bligh’s vision to make Townsville the state’s second capital, helping to ease the rapid population growth in Queensland’s southeast corner.

States the only tier that could deliver the goods, yet they’re not up to it
. AUSTRALIA needs another city if our population and living standards are to continue to rise in tandem. But this won’t happen unless we re-imagine the federation. Labor can’t change the national conversation on population policy without first acknowledging that the job is too big for one tier of government. The thinking and the spending may logically fall to Canberra. But the implementing must remain with the states. Yet they aren’t equipped to deliver in their present form because their default position when cities become too crowded is to extend the metropolitan boundaries with further land releases. One of the dirty secrets of the population debate is that Sydney and Melbourne can carry many more residents within their existing postcodes.

State capitals are the issue…. centres where there are overly centralised public resources, infrastructure management, transport hubs, employment opportunities, political power, status quo, parochiolism and egos….

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