Australian Government coat of arms

Prime Minister of Australia

The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP

Smart Cities will grow the innovation economy

29 April 2016

Prime Minister

Minister for Major Projects

Minister for Cities

The Prime Minister Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP today released the Commonwealth’s Smart Cities Plan, to deliver jobs closer to homes, more affordable housing, better transport connections and healthy environments. The Plan was launched at a Cities Summit in Melbourne. Governments, businesses and the Australian community must work together to transition our economy to be led by innovation. The performance of our cities - metropolitan and regional - is crucial to this transition. Great cities attract, retain and develop increasingly mobile talent and organisations, encouraging them to innovate, create jobs and support growth.

The Smart Cities Plan includes:

  • The establishment of an infrastructure financing unit to work closely with the private sector on innovative financing solutions; and
  • committing $50 million to accelerate planning and development works on major infrastructure projects to develop business cases and investment options.

The Plan will draw on the Commonwealth’s coordination capacity and the strength of its balance sheet at a time of historically low interest rates, to get the best infrastructure projects off the ground. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the Cities Plan will be used to unlock more housing supply. "By increasing the supply of housing we can address one of the greatest financial issues of our times for most families - housing affordability," he said.

Minister for Major Projects Paul Fletcher said strong partnerships with state and territory governments would underpin successful infrastructure proposals. "We need the best projects to deliver maximum value for taxpayers and ensure that Commonwealth investment achieves the right outcomes for our cities."

The Smart Cities Plan prioritises smart policy, smart investment and smart technology to improve accessibility, create more jobs, more affordable housing and build healthy environments. Assistant Minister for Cities Angus Taylor said City Deals would be at the heart of smart policy. "The global lesson is that cities collaborate to compete. There’s a great incentive here for everyone to work together. The Smart Cities Plan will also importantly target jobs growth for regional cities and outer metropolitan centres. Our regional cities need a strong platform for coordinated investment and planning."

To succeed in the 21st century economy our cities - regional and metropolitan - need to be productive and accessible, but they also need to be liveable, with a clear focus on serving their citizens. All Australians, wherever they live, are encouraged to share their ideas on the Smart Cities Plan. Feedback is welcome through the cities website.