Planning system reform and economic development: unpacking policy rhetoric and trajectories in Victoria and New South Wales

Kristian Ruming*, Robin Goodman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite recent resource booms, the Australian economy remains dominated by the urban. In the wake of the post-Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and in the face of falling global commodity prices, the economic functioning of Australian cities is critical to maintaining the unprecedented levels of prosperity that have existed since the mid-1990s. Australian cities are increasingly identified as being vital to facilitating economic growth. Indeed, many of the direct interventions by the previous federal Labor government, aimed at insulating the Australian economy from the worst of the GFC, were urban in nature. At the state level, which has constitutional authority for planning, cities are routinely identified as the drivers of state economies - especially in states which have not been characterized by the export of resources. However, a public and policy discourse has emerged that sees planning policy as restricting and constraining economic performance. This discourse, propelled by peak business groups, the development industry and neoliberal ideologues, insists that urban planning is a barrier to economic growth. The need for greater efficiencies has become so widely accepted that state governments are now engaged in a seemingly endless round of system reviews and reform. Against this background, this paper reviews recent planning reforms initiated in the major Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-89
Number of pages18
JournalBuilt Environment
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

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