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Media Release: The time is now: fast track housing affordability

8 Feb 2017

The time is now: fast track housing affordability

John Alexander MP; Chairman of the House Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities; will today in the House of Representatives table his committee’s latest inquiry report: Harnessing Value, Delivering Infrastructure.

Mr Alexander said: “Linking regional towns to their nearest major city via high speed rail will fast track the supply of affordable housing stock for generations to come. It can be funded by ‘value capture’, not government revenue. This is the major inquiry finding and recommendation.

“It’s a win-win-win-win situation. A win for regional economic development, a win for urban congestion relief and renewal, a win for the supply of vast affordable housing stock that is within easy commuting time of big city jobs, and a win for government finances as ‘value capture’ would fund construction, not general revenue.

“This is a positive vision for a bright and prosperous Australian future,” Mr Alexander declared.

“Ideas and vision have been eliminated for too long from the national conversation by petty political debate.

“The practice of public inquiry, to gather facts and gain recommendations, to graduate into policy direction, is fundamental to a competition of ideas and vision.

“The evidence is conclusive: in the absence of a strategic plan for decentralisation and for the retrofitting of infrastructure in our cities, to affect urban renewal, opportunities for sustained national economic growth are constricted.

“There must be a federal government overarching plan that integrates infrastructure and land use. A federal ‘value capture’ model is vital to fund a vast array of infrastructure projects. It is essential for the three levels of government to align.

“The rebalancing of our settlement and the reinvigoration of regional areas is dependent on high speed rail connectivity to our major urban centres.

“Evidence declared there is no better opportunity in the world for high speed rail to be funded by value capture than the corridor between Melbourne and Sydney,” Mr Alexander said.

The report and suite of recommendations can be downloaded here:

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/ITC/TransportConnectivity/Report_1

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