Colebatch, Tim: Australia’s urban boom: the latest evidence

Colebatch, Tim

Australia’s urban boom: the latest evidence‘, Inside Story, 5 April 2016

Sometime over the next three months, Sydney’s population will reach five million. If Melbourne keeps growing at its current pace, by 2020 it too will have five million residents – and it won’t stay that size for long.

Other Australian cities are heading in a similar direction, driven particularly by migration from Asia. In no other Western country are cities growing as fast as in Australia.

On the positive side, it helps explain why the Australian economy keeps growing at a pace that looks impressive to Europeans, even if per capita growth is no better here than there. On the negative side, it explains why the roads, trains and buses in those four cities have become so congested, why housing prices have become so inflated – and why the racist underbelly of Australian society refuses to go away.

The article closely analyses Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, some of them going back to 1996, and showing particularly how uneven is population growth, with a bias towards Sydney and Melbourne and well away from regional areas. Infrastructure backlogs need radical solutions if urban liveability is to be maintained.



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