Caring about cities

Does anyone in Canberra care about cities anymore?

Well, yes actually. Last week a new cross-party Parliamentary Friends of Better Cities group was launched in Canberra to prove the point.

Co-convened by Liberal MP Jane Prentice, Labor’s Andrew Giles and Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt, the function attracted a swag of MPs and staffers. The Property Council is one of the supporter organisations for the new parliamentary group.

Speaker after speaker emphasised the central role of cities to economic, social and environmental policy. There was common recognition that in the most urbanised country in the world, cities weren’t something that federal governments could just leave to someone else.

It’s a point the Property Council has made consistently, including to a parliamentary inquiry into infrastructure and in ministerial meetings last week.

The new Parliamentary Friends group is a useful conversation starter on a range of policies close to the industry’s heart.