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Vision 2020 Concept Paper Outline

Vision 2020 – Plan for Australia

Historic Perspective

Australia to this point has grown without the benefit of any national planning and little if any master planning of our cities.

This has resulted in an imbalance where our major cities are amongst this most expensive in the world and our regional cities are struggling to sustain through lack of critical mass. Movement continues from regional areas to the major cities exacerbating this problem.

Our major cities are strangled by growth outpacing infrastructure resulting in congestion that impacts on productivity and the quality of life.

Sydney and Melbourne have continued to spread which has only compounded these problems.

Strategic Plan for Growth and Urban Renewal

The Vision 2020 Policy Paper seeks to address the two great problem areas that have evolved through lack of national planning for our major cities and our regional areas.

Our major cities require a structured policy that will facilitate the essential infrastructure projects that will attract investment to effect urban renewal and appropriate densification.

This cannot be achieved while ever greater numbers of people flood into these cities therefore a strategic plan for regional growth must accompany plans for urban renewal.

As with urban renewal regional growth is dependent on infrastructure.

Australia must develop a spatial plan of settlement and commit to the infrastructure projects to facilitate strategic growth.

This purpose for strategic growth of regional areas is to effect a long term land release that will create growth opportunities for these regional areas that will relieve the pressures on our major cities.

Spatial plan for strategic growth

The key drivers that dictate phase one of the spatial plan are the overgrowth of Sydney and Melbourne which has seen Sydney become the second most expensive city in the world to purchase real estate and Melbourne the seventh and the airline corridor servicing these two cities ranked third busiest in terms of flights and fourth in terms of people movements and it is the most congested air corridor over land.

Further, land releases on the periphery of these cities are compounding the existing problems of insufficient infrastructure, loss of local food production and productivity losses through commuting times growing while increasing upward price pressures on inner suburbs.

There is irrefutable evidence that high speed rail has been the most effective infrastructure for the growth of regional areas lying between major cities. (refer Sustainable Cities)

These significant factors lead to an inescapable conclusion that there are vast opportunities of land release that could be realised through a high speed rail network, servicing the Moss Vale region Goulbourn, Canberra, Yass, Queenbeyan, Gundagai, Albury, Wodonga, Shepparton, Tullamarine International Airport.

Such land release when accompanied with appropriate zoning and high speed rail services to our major cities will attract investment and unprecedented up-lift in property values in these areas while relieving property price pressures in the major cities.

Regional growth of this magnitude will reduce demand on the limited stocks of housing of major cities producing downward pressure on cost of housing, cost of living and the cost of doing business.

The incentive for families and businesses to locate in this growth corridor will be driven by the opportunity of home ownership at modest prices, lower cost of living, vastly reduced commuting times, better access to health services, education,  career opportunities, recreational sport entertainment and cultural services and amenities.

These advantages will be complemented by High Speed rail services providing quick and easy access to international airports and major cities.

In short all of the benefits of living in a major city, but none of the costs or downside.

Financing and Funding Process

The objective is to roll out a high speed rail net work through a structure that contains risk and debt.

The funding and the financing of the high speed rail infrastructure will ultimately be paid for through capital gains and other taxes resulting from the up-lift in property values, infrastructure, complimentary zoning and the resultant development and the multiplier of economic growth.

The proposed plan for the coalition to proceed with this project so as to avoid debt and eliminate risk is to through a series of tenders for expressions of interest.

The tender for expressions of interest should invite responses that address the following.

  1. Route determination
  2. The construction of the high speed rail
  3. The provision of the rolling stock and control systems
  4. The rights to operate the various services
  5. The rights to develop terminals and the surrounding high density CBD
  6. The rights to develop immediate urban areas
  7. The financing package

Route Determination

This process will consider and balance the needs for the most direct against the opportunities for development.

When points four five and six are fully considered, the short fall should then be the subject of a simple principal and interest loan to be paid over the most prudent time period. This process managed with appropriate due diligence will achieve long term investment, growth, reduced pressure on major cities while containing debt and risk.

Federal Funding of State Infrastructure

In response to the great need for infrastructure in our major cities the Coalition has developed an innovative plan to bring together the three levels of government and stakeholders in a strategic alliance to build and fund infrastructure and create significant opportunities for urban renewal and appropriate densification.

The Policy

On agreed infrastructure projects the Coalition will quarantine Capital Gains Taxes (CGT) that result from the rezoning of the land that is served by the infrastructure.

These quarantined funds will be paid to the state as federal funding of the infrastructure project.

This policy is central to achieving dynamic revitalisation of our cities.

  1. By converting congested arteries to growth corridors with infrastructure capacity designed for planned growth.
  2. By being able to holistically plan city infrastructure and development.
  3. By attracting investment because of the infrastructure, zoning and certainty of Development Approvals.
  4. Protection of existing suburban amenity.
  5. providing

This policy unites federal state and local government to act in concert to achieve urban renewal and densification through investment in land that has infrastructure and beneficial zoning.