The Fyshwick Business Association is calling on the Federal and ACT Governments to commit to critical infrastructure funding for the ACT and surrounds through a new City Partnership for the National Capital Region.
“We support this call led by Senator David Pocock, and join with 34 other leading business, cultural and sporting organisations from the region, because it is the start of an important conversation about driving business investment and setting us up for the future,” Fyshwick Business Association President Rob Evans said.
“This is not just about a new stadium or convention centre or light rail, it is a holistic approach to the challenges facing the Territory and the region and will help address our critical housing shortage, drive innovation, attract national and international visitation, and give business confidence and certainty.”
Mr Evans said a City Partnership would realise the funding needed to strike a balance between immediate needs and setting the region up for a better future.
“For as long as the ACT Government is constrained by disproportionate reliance on a small funding base of ACT ratepayers it cannot look ahead to what is best for the city and the region; we will lurch from one ad hoc decision to the next with no holistic vision for what our National Capital could be.
“We know everyone from the Chief Minister down is frustrated by this, and the injection of funds a City Partnership would unleash from both public and private sectors would generate great outcomes delivered more quickly. Then funding of critical infrastructure won’t rely on flogging off land as quickly as possible without much consideration for the future, which results in mediocre planning outcomes.”
Mr Evans said it should not have to be an either/or situation for example choosing between a hospital or light rail and other critical infrastructure and that a City Partnership would alleviate this dilemma.
“The Prime Minister has said he wants to do things differently to his predecessors – now is his opportunity to walk the talk supported by all our local elected representatives who recognise that the ACT has been underfunded on infrastructure.”
- Minister for Finance and Senator for the Australian Capital Territory, Katy Gallagher: “For too long, Canberra was overlooked by a cynical Coalition Government that failed to meet the needs of a growing city and cherished National Capital.” (Media Release 25 October 2022)
- Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories, Kristy McBain MP: “Regional infrastructure needs to be more robust and resilient—our lives and our livelihoods depend on it.” (First Speech to Parliament 31 August 2020)
- Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury and Member for Fenner, Andrew Leigh MP: “In the last budget, the ACT got just one-fifth of our fair share of infrastructure spending.” (Media Release 25 October 2022)
- Member for Bean, David Smith MP: ““Over the last few months I’ve been talking to major sports about the need to pull together a 5 to 10 year plan for all our sporting infrastructure and how we can deliver that.” (ABC Radio Canberra 2 May 2022)
- Member for Canberra, Alicia Payne MP: “Canberra needs its fair share of federal investment.” (Media Release 25 October 2022)
- ACT Chief Minister and Treasurer, Andrew Barr: “With the election of the Albanese Government, there is an opportunity to partner with the Commonwealth in infrastructure planning, financing and delivery.” (Media Release 1 August 2022)
“As Andrew Leigh has also pointed out infrastructure spending should be based on need, not politics (Twitter 30 October 2022).
“As the voice of 1500 plus businesses and 16,000 workers, the Fyshwick Business Association looks forward to progression of the City Partnership for the National Capital Region and welcomes the opportunity to continue participating constructively in shaping a better future for Canberra.
“We thank Senator Pocock for spearheading this action and share his aspirations through the City Partnership for our city and surrounds.
“That is why we invested in the Eastwick Greenline Urban Renewal Plan for East Canberra and will continue to advocate for infrastructure improvements that drive commerce and give businesses confidence to invest and grow.
“The City Partnership would bring Canberra into the 21st century and do some fantastic things so all Australians can be proud of their National Capital instead of bagging it,” Mr Evans said.