Australia’s capital city lord mayors are accelerating their push for a closer working relationship with the Commonwealth. They are in Canberra today to speak to federal representatives, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the new Minister for Cities and the Built Environment, Jamie Briggs about how the Australian Government and cities can work together to benefit the nation.

Current Council of Capital City Lord Mayors (CCCLM) Chair, Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese, welcomed the historic creation of the Cities ministry and recognised the priority that both the government and opposition have placed on cities as major drivers of the Australian economy.

“Australia’s capital cities are home to more than two thirds of our people and account for two thirds of our economic output, but immediate action is required to ensure the future liveability and prosperity of cities and the nation,” Lord Mayor Haese said.

“As the appointment of Australia’s first ever Minister for Cities attests, in our rapidly changing global economy, cities are more important than ever before and our Lord Mayors feel so strongly about this that we’ve come to Canberra to work alongside our national politicians for the future benefit of all Australians”.

Australia’s capital city lord mayors will be discussing the priority projects in cities that would bring benefits to the entire country.

“We are an eclectic group of Lord Mayors, we come from very different places, from different backgrounds and have different political affiliations, but we agree on one thing – that cities really do matter to Australia,” he said.

“Australian cities are now a trillion dollar economy, and this needs to be protected. Australian cities need help to do better. Commuting times have increased by 20 per cent over the last decade, costing around $10 billion every year in lost productivity.

To assist in making the case for cities, and particularly investment in city economies, infrastructure and climate change resilience, the Lord Mayors yesterday launched a new website – Cities Matter.

“Our aim is to forge a common agenda – a plan of action for 21st century capital cities in one of the most urbanised nations in the world and we are asking politicians from all sides to join the conversation, along with experts, researchers and community and business leaders.

“Our message to our federal colleagues is clear – ‘there is no time to waste and we are here to help’,” said Lord Mayor Haese.

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