ABOUT 49,000 people from high-growth outer suburban communities, including the City of Wanneroo, have emailed federal politicians to back the ‘Fund Our Future’ campaign.
As the federal election nears, community pressure is mounting on politicians to back the campaign for a dedicated national infrastructure fund for fast-growing outer suburbs.
Last week, the campaign announced it had reached a key milestone with residents of high-growth outer suburbs sending more than 40,000 emails to politicians in Canberra.
Speaking as deputy chair of the National Growth Areas Alliance, Tracey Roberts said residents in high-growth areas endured congested roads, poor public transport and inadequate access to health facilities.
“While the NGAA is pleased to see an interest in ‘30-minute cities’ at the federal level, at present, our communities are more like ‘90-minute cities’,” she said.
“A national dedicated infrastructure fund would address the infrastructure backlog in fast-growing outer suburbs and future-proof them.”
The City of Wanneroo mayor thanked residents and businesses who supported the campaign so far, and said campaigners planned to double efforts in the lead-up to the July 2 election to ensure the fund became a reality.
“Encourage your friends, family and colleagues to sign the petition at www.fundourfuture.info,” Mrs Roberts said.
The campaign emphasises that five million Australians currently live in the fast-growing suburbs on the outskirts of Australia’s capital cities and independent analysis found they already lacked access to adequate infrastructure.
By 2031, the number calling these areas ‘home’ will have swelled to 7.5 million people.
Research conducted by SGS Economics and Planning found $5 billion would be needed each year over the next 15 years to catch up and then keep up with the infrastructure needs in these areas.
The City of Wanneroo has been promoting the need for key infrastructure – including extending the northern rail line from Butler to Yanchep; extending the Mitchell Freeway beyond Hester Avenue to Romeo Road; and continuing the dual carriageway on Wanneroo Road – which could become a reality with the establishment of a fund for outer suburbs.
GREENS candidate for the Pearce electorate Lee-Anne Miles said the NGAA had a positive plan for funding development and their campaign was an answer to public requests for more strategic planning rather than a “lucky dip” approach at election time.
“The need for high quality health care, public transport and efficient road infrastructure in an area such as Wanneroo, is clear,” she said.
“In terms of public transport the priority is for an integrated network, easy access, with transit-oriented development at rail stations.
“Public transport should be efficient, environmentally sustainable and promote resilient communities with a high level of transport choice and quality of life.
“There should be equity of access, ecological sustainability and public ownership of critical public transport infrastructure.”
Mrs Miles said the existing road system needed charging points for electric vehicles and called for a focus on electric and gas fuel for buses rather than diesel.
“Roadside planting and greening of the verge areas will help to lessen the heat transfer,” she said.
“Reinvigorating the rail system for freight transport (will) lessen congestion on the roads.”
Mrs Miles said access to quality health care was “a basic human right” and individual and population health was influenced by social, economic and environmental conditions that people lived and worked in.
“Ensuring all people have access to the resources and opportunities essential for good health and well-being should be one of the most important priorities of all Australian governments,” she said.
“Publicly-funding the health system is the most equitable and efficient way to resource and deliver health services.
“It should be easy for the public to access high quality, well-resourced, efficient health care.”
Pearce MHR Christian Porter said the Turnbull Government had a plan to provide jobs, growth and secure future for Australian families.
“As part of that plan we have guaranteed funding for health, education and roads,” he said.
“The Turnbull Government is investing a record $50 billion in infrastructure between 2013-14 and 2019-20 – with an unprecedented $1.2 billion of that being spent in my electorate.
“I have been working closely with the growth areas alliance including facilitating meetings in Canberra and would look forward to continuing that advocacy with them if re-elected.”
Mr Porter said the current government had provided States with more than $34 billion per year for hospitals and schools over the forward estimates for hospitals and schools.
Labor candidate Thomas French said his party supported Yanchep rail and Wanneroo Road overpasses.
“Labor supports the objective of the Fund Our Future campaign, which is to deliver better infrastructure and services to fast growing communities,” he said.
“We are aware of growth pressures on the outskirts of major cities and our infrastructure announcements during this campaign will acknowledge this.
“A Shorten Labor government will create a $10 billion infrastructure financing facility to kick-start new investment in transport projects.
“We will reform Infrastructure Australia to deliver greater transparency, independence, stability and flexibility for these vital projects.
“We will continue to work with state and local governments, including the National Growth Area Alliance, to improve the liveability of our cities and communities.”