As integrated sets of cities and their surrounding regions across which labour and capital can be reallocated at a very low cost, megaregions have replaced cities as the new global competitive units. Creating an Australian east coast megaregion will unleash our innovative capacity, and allow us to compete on the global stage. Moreover, it will activate the regions, and alleviate the population growth challenges that our major capital cities are experiencing.
Underpinning the development of an Australian east coast megaregion would be the creation of an eastern seaboard transit link. High speed rail would act as the nerve system linking our major cities and regions.
Committee for Melbourne, in partnership with Committee for Sydney, has commissioned some research into the benefits of greater collaboration along Australia’s east coast, with the publication of a report due for release later in 2019.
The report will focus on how greater collaboration across our state jurisdictional lines, along with the strategic decentralisation of the population, will help drive the economy into the twenty-first century and ensure Australia remains one of the most liveable countries on the planet.
SGS Economics and Planning, the consultancy tasked with developing the report, will engage with Committee members as it develops the report. Contact the Committee for further information, including how your organisation can get involved.
Re-imaging Australia’s East Coast
A Committee for Melbourne CEO, Martine Letts, made a Fellow’s address to members of the Australian Institute of International Affairs Victoria on Tuesday 18 June. Her speech, titled Re-imagining Australia’s East Coast, examined how effective collaboration and connectivity along Australia’s eastern seaboard would enhance Australia’s engagement with the Indo-Pacific region, and why it will allow Australia to better compete in an increasingly interdependent, fast-changing world.
Following the address, Martine’s was presented with her Fellow’s Award, recognising her extensive contribution to Australia’s government, non-profit and international policy sectors. Martine has provided high-level expertise in public policy development, formulation and promotion both in Australia and internationally.
On Wednesday 13 March, the Committee ran an event at the Cities and Regions 4.0 Summit. Former Director of Policy and Research, Sander van Amelsvoort, provided a keynote address, with representatives from AECOM and Neighbourlytics joining him on stage for a panel discussion afterwards. The discussion focused on ways in which the establishment of an east coast megaregion would build economic resilience, boost competitiveness, and help alleviate some of the stresses that Melbourne and Sydney are both grappling with.
On 16 October 2018 Committee for Melbourne, in conjunction with Committee for Sydney, hosted a workshop in Sydney, to discuss the critical importance of our two great cities, and the regions in between, working together to ensure we remain globally competitive in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Participants were asked to envision what an Australian East Coast Megaregion would look like, how it might be achieved, and why it must be built to secure the future success of our cities, regional centres, and the country more broadly.
The ideas collected at the workshop, in addition to the ideas identified at the Melbourne-based event held late last year, will feed into the Committee’s advocacy efforts for greater economic, political, and social collaboration along Australia’s east coast.
We hosted the Australia/New Zealand Committees for Cities and Regions network in Melbourne on 18 and 19 March 2018. Committee for Melbourne has taken on the role of coordinating the 18 member C4 network.
This unique network continues to grow and thrive, reinforcing the excellent brand enjoyed by the “Committees 4” as a trusted, non-partisan forum for business, the knowledge sector, and civil society to shape the future economies and liveability of their communities. The Australian C4 network is particularly strong in the state of Victoria.
The C4 network is not only an information exchange, but also an opportunity for members to collaborate in joint advocacy with government on shared priorities. The Victorian C4 network recently collaborated on advocating for better rail connections between Melbourne and the regions.
Infrastructure Australia released a policy paper in July 2017 urging Australian governments to protect infrastructure corridors which are vital to the country’s long-term, strategic planning.
Corridor Protection: Planning and investing for the long term argues that close to $11 billion in land purchase and construction costs could be saved by taxpayers, provided governments acquire and protect seven corridors identified as national priorities.
The Committee for Melbourne supports Infrastructure Australia’s efforts to encourage protection of strategic corridors as a prudent investment which will give current and future governments the capacity to respond to issues associated with a growing population.
Corridor protection aligns with the outcomes of the Committee for Melbourne’s Melbourne 4.0 Taskforce, which has identified the need for increased eastern seaboard collaboration and connection such as an eastern seaboard transit link.