Moving Australia


Better Cities Events

May 4, 2016 Parliament House in Canberra

Growing Up and Growing Out

Population growth plays out spatially in very distinct ways. Infrastructure Australia for the first time in its Australian Infrastructure Plan recognised the location of population growth hotspots and linked it with needed investment. Governments are grappling with how we plan for and support this growth. Growing Up and Growing Out explored the dynamics of population growth and demographic change, including a spotlight on the fast growing outer suburbs.

An expert panel discussed the implications of growth and megatrends for planning and investment with Kate Middleton from The Saturday Paper as moderator.

Expert panel includes:
  • Mayor Glenn Docherty, Mayor of Playford in SA and Chair of NGAA
  • Kirsty Kelly, CEO of PIA
  • Professor Jago Dodson, Professor of Urban Policy and Director of the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University
  • Sharon Noyle, Community Spokesperson from Doreen in Victoria.

Full YouTube clip at:

The event also saw Brendan Nelson, President of the Planning Institute of Australia, launch their first report of their Journey towards 50 million initiative. The report titled Through the lens: megatrends shaping our future, outlines a range of demographic and disruptive megatreends that will shape the future of Australia. Find out more.

Full youtube clip at:

Event Gallery

VariousVariousParliamentary Friendship Group for Better Cities - Sponsors and ConvenersMadonna Woodhead (BIC), Michael Apps (BIC), Ruth Spielman (NGAA), Glenn Docherty (Mayor City of Playford/Chair NGAA), Kirsty Kelly (PIA), Brendan Nelson (PIA)
Kirsty Kelly (Planning Institute Australia) and Brendan Nelson (Planning Institute Australia)Trent Zimmerman (Member for North Sydney, NSW (LP))Andrew Giles (Member for Scullin, VIC (ALP))Adam Bandt (Member for Melbourne, VIC (GRN))
Angus Taylor (Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation)Left to Right: Tracey Roberts (City of Wanneroo), Glenn Docherty (Mayor City of Playford/Chair NGAA), Dan Simms (City of Wanneroo)Rodger Hausmann (InsiderGroups), Umesh Ratnagobal (Insurance Australia Group)Sharon Noyle (Community Spokesperson, Doreen VIC), Ruth Spielman (National Growth Areas Alliance), Andrew Giles (Member for Scullin, VIC (ALP)), Terri Butler (Member for Griffith, QLD (ALP)), Glenn Docherty (Mayor City of Playford/Chair NGAA),

November, 10 2015 Parliament House in Canberra

Infrastructure for our cities: The challenges ahead

Keynote Speaker: CEO of Infrastructure Australia, Mr Philip Davies

Philip Davies is the newly appointed CEO of Infrastructure Australia. Infrastructure Australia advocates for reforms on key issues including means of financing, delivering and operating infrastructure and how to better plan and utilise infrastructure networks. Philip is an experienced infrastructure executive who has had over 25 years shaping policy, delivering nationally significant infrastructure projects and leading reform within the infrastructure sector.

Event Focus

Australian cities are growing. The November 2015 Parliamentary Friendship Group for Better Cities key focus was on the infrastructure of our Australian cities and the challenges ahead. Davies keynote address delivered an insight into Infrastructure Australia’s current activities including the release of the Infrastructure Audit. Davies also touched on the development of the 15 Year Australian Infrastructure Plan.

Philip Davies, CEO of Infrastructure Australia


Full YouTube clip at:

Event Gallery

Megan Motto and Philip DaviesJane Prentice MP, Philip Davie, Andrew Giles MP and Ken MorrisonMick Gentleman and Michael KilgariffMatt Cross, Jane Prentice MP and Philip Davies
Anthony Albanese MP and Ken MorrisonKen MorrissonPhilip DaviesJane Prentice MP, Andrew Giles MP and Senator Janet Rice
Andrew Giles MP, Jane Prentice MP, Senator Janet Rice and Ken MorrissonParliamentary Friendship Group for Better CitiesAdrian Piani, Terri Butler MP, Mr Violante and Shahana McKenzieMegan Motto, Romilly Madew and Kristy Kelly


June 15, 2015, Parliament House in Canberra

Bitumen, buses, bikes and bodies – active transport solutions for better cities
5th National Survey Launch on Australian’s attitudes to active transport

Keynote Speaker:Associate Professor Matthew Burke

Associate Professor Matthew Burke is Deputy Director and an Australian Research Council (ARC)
Discovery Future Fellow at the Urban Research Program at Griffith University. Matthew’s research
explores transport and land use planning and transport policy with particular interests in how the built
environment influences travel behaviour. He has projects exploring commuting and employment location,
children’s school travel and the effects of the Gold Coast’s new light rail scheme. Matthew is keenly
interested in how Australian cities may encourage more use of active and public modes of transport.

Event Focus

With the ever growing Australian population, the June 2015 Parliamentary Friends Group of Better Cities event focused on how the journeys we take shape us and the importance of increased public transport investment from Federal and State Governments. The benefits of active and public transport is absolutely undeniable and utilising smarter bus routes that are more direct can have an increased effect of patronage, decrease congestion and can also help increase property values.

This event also saw the launch of 5th National Survey on Australian’s attitudes to investment in active travel, which was co-produced by the Cycling Promotion Fund and the National Heart Foundation. Australians are struggling to find the time to participate in physical activities. This lack of physical activity is taking its toll on our health and is increasing our risk of chronic illnesses. Investing and advocating active travel, which involves walking, cycling and utilising public transport, could be one of the first steps in combating this issue. The national survey specifically sought to find out what the level of support within the community is for the Government to invest more in active transport. Read the full report by clicking on the link below.

PFG_2015_June_Burke PFG_2015_June_Burke (10444 KB)

Bitumen, buses, bikes and bodies: active transport solutions for better cities


Download Matthews Burks Presentation by clicking the link below.

PFG_2015_June_Burke PFG_2015_June_Burke (10444 KB)

Associate Professor Matthew Burke - Deputy Director and an Australian Research Council (ARC) presents Australia's capital and major cities more liveable, resilient & productive. Why transport matters, active transport, the way forward for the transport industry and how transport is shaping our lives. Burke, identifies in his address to Senators, Parliamentary Staff and Better Cities friends and guests, the following benefits of investment in active transport: 

  • Increased productivity, reduced absenteeism
  • Better health
  • Reduced congestion
  • Improved road safety
  • Liveable streets
  • Reduced financial costs
  • Increased social capital and active and independent ageing.
Burke claims that a national urban policy is required urgently if we are to keep our cities liveable and sustainable. Burke also breaks down the results of the Survey and tells us what it all really means.

Full youTube clip at:;

Launch of the 5th National Survey on Australian's attitudes to active transport.

Download the complete survey by clicking on the link below.

PFG_2015_June_Survey PFG_2015_June_Survey (781 KB)

Steven Hodge representing the Cycling Promotion Fund launches the 5th National Survey on Australian's attitude to active transport. This survey specifically sought to find out what the level of support within the community is for the Government to invest more in active transport. Some of the key statistics to come out of this survey are:
  • 71 per cent of people support more funding for cycling, walking and public transport infrastructure;
  • 62 per cent of people believe Government should fund walking and cycling infrastructure when there is an upgrade or construction of road infrastructure;
  • 44 per cent of people are prevented from cycling due to lack of infrastructure;
  • More than one in two people would cycle or walk to public transport if infrastructure was improved; and
  • More than 60 per cent would walk more if infrastructure was improved.
Full youtube clip at:;


Event Gallery

Alan Higgins, Geoffrey Rutledge and Deborah WilkinsonProfessor Barbara Norman and Brendan NelsonStephen Hodge and Jane Prentice MP (LP)Michael Apps and Amanda Lynch
Melanie Chisolm and Peter BourkeMichael Apps, Terri Butler MP (ALP) and P. DoulmanStephen HodgeJane Prentice MP (LP)
Associate Professor Matthew BurkeStephen Hodge, Michael Apps, Anthony Albanese MP (ALP),  Andrew Giles MP (ALP), Jane Prentice MP (LP) and Senator Janet Rice (GRN)Andrew Giles MP (ALP)Co Conveners and members of Parliament


November 25, 2014, Parliament House in Canberra

The Land and Housing Challenge- Making our Cities Liveable, Affordable and Efficient – the Federal Government’s Role


Keynote Speaker: Lucy Hughes Turnbull AO 

Lucy Hughes Turnbull AO is an urbanist, businesswoman and philanthropist with longstanding interest in cities, and technological and social innovation. She chairs the Committee for Sydney and is Chairman of Prima BioMed Limited, an ASX- listed biomedical company undertaking clinical development for an immuno-therapeutic cancer treatment. She is a director of Sealink Travel Group Limited. She is currently a board member of the Australian Technology Park, the Redfern Foundation Limited, the Turnbull Foundation and the Grattan Institute.

She was deputy chair of the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) City Expert Advisory Panel. She was the first female Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney from 2003-4. In 2011 she became an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the community, local government and business. In 2012 she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Business by the University of NSW.

Event Focus

With a Federal Government inquiry into affordable housing and homelessness due in 2015, this event focussed on how we plan and design our cities to deliver affordable and appropriate housing solutions aligned with local and national objectives.
How we move people in our major cities is a crucial element in lowering their cost of living. This ties into the wider affordability debate in our cities. In the clip below Lucy Hughes Turnbull AO outlines her view on the approach all Governments should take in delivering transport in our major cities.

Lucy Hughes Turnbull AO

Full youtube clip at: 


Event Gallery


Attendees of the November 2015 EventParliamentary Friends GroupSteven Hodge (CPF) and Anthony AlbaneseSteven Hodge (CPF) & Malcolm Turnbull
Lucy TurnbullDavid Parken (AIA) and Debra Wilkinson (CCCLM) and Anthony Albanese
Janet Rice and Malcolm Turnbull and Stephen HodgeRuth Spielman (NGAA) and Adam BandtLucy Turnbull and Jane PrenticeLucy Turnbull and Charlie Thomas (PCA) and Jonathon Cartledge (ASBEC) and Katie Dean (ASBEC) and Suzanne Moulis (AILA)


August 27, 2014, Parliament House in Canberra

Launch of Parliamentary Friendship Group for Better Cities

Cities WTF? (Why they Function) 

Keynote Speaker: Dorte Ekelund

The Keynote speaker for the launch of the group was Ms. Dorte Ekelund. 
Dorte Ekelund is an urban planner and the Director-General of the Environment and Planning Directorate of the ACT Government. She was formerly the head of the Major Cities Unit, the Australian Government’s think tank on urban policy issues.


Event Focus

The launch event for the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Better Cities was an opportunity for the co-convenors of the Group to outline their respective views on the role of the Federal Government in Australia's major and regional cities and for the Supporter Members of the Group to make contact with Parliamentarians and key bureaucrats in this space.

Our Keynote Speaker for the event was Dorte Ekelund, who spoke on Cities - WTF!?(Why They Function) and how we can further unlock their productivity, enhance them as great places to visit and live in, and recognise their significant potential to improve environmental outcomes.




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