Malcolm Turnbull appoints Jamie Briggs Minister for Cities

21/09/2015 8:18 am

Cabinet reshuffle: Malcolm Turnbull appoints Jamie Briggs Minister for Cities to "21st Century Government"

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Australia is one of the most urbanised populations in the world, concentrated in five major cities situated on the coastline. Unlike the US and Europe, we have very few medium sized cities.

"Liveable cities, efficient productive cities, the environment of cities, are economic assets."

Malcolm Turnbull

Malcom Turnbull has provided cities and therefore urban planning with a portfolio and a voice in his new cabinet. Jaime Briggs has been appointed the Minister for Cities and the Built Environment, declaring urban planning a matter of life quality.

jaime briggs

"Historically the federal government has had a limited engagement with cities, and yet that is where most Australians live," Mr Turnbull said.

"It is where the bulk of our economic growth can be found. We often overlook the fact that liveable cities, efficient productive cities, the environment of cities, are economic assets."

Mr Turnbull said making sure cities and regional centres are "wonderful places to live" was a key priority of every level of government.

"The most valuable capital in the world today is not financial capital, there's plenty of that and it's very mobile," he said.

"It is human capital. Men and women like ourselves who can choose to live anywhere."

Constitutionally the Federal Government has very limited powers when it comes to urban planning. It will be interesting to see how the new Minister for Cities and the Turnbull Government carve out a role in the decision-making for the planning of cities. Traditionally the Federal Government has played a limited role in urban planning focusing on funding and sustainability, where it has some powers under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.