COAG to demand standards for city plans

Governments will be bound to national standards for transport planning under COAG agreement

December 7, 2009

State and territory governments will be bound to meet a national standard for transport planning under a new agreement between governments.

A joint statement from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese says the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has agreed to introduce capital city strategic plans by 2012.

Under the agreement, jurisdictions will need to produce evidence-based transport planning such as corridors and intermodal connections to tackle congestion or risk losing federal funding.

The plans will be independently assessed by the COAG Reform Council, and governments will also need to link new urban development to transport, jobs and services.

Work on the plans is due to begin in 2010, with the Rudd Government saying an initial report on each jurisdiction will be completed during 2011.

"From 1 January 2012, the Commonwealth will link future funding to states and territories meeting these criteria," the statement reads.

"The Commonwealth must have confidence in the integrity of a capital city’s strategic planning system if it is to invest in that city."

Calling it a "major microeconomic reform", Rudd says the plans are designed to lift productivity, reduce climate change and ensure Australia is ready for a predicted population boom of 35 million people by 2049.

As part of the strategic plans, governments will need to take a long-term view up to 30 years.

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