In our rapidly changing world, cities are more important than ever before. Cities are where people and organisations come together, where investments are made, where new ideas are formed, where jobs are created and, importantly, where lives are lived.

In one of the most urbanised countries in the world, Australia’s capital cities are home to more than two thirds of our population and almost 70 per cent of our national workforce, producing around 68 per cent of our GDP – more than 1000 billion dollars of economic output every year. It is expected that some 15 million more people will be living in our capital cities by the second half of this century.

The pressures and changing needs that result from a growing population, from the impacts of a changing climate and from an evolving global economy will challenge our cities like never before. The risk is that, left unchecked, our quality of life will drop and our city economies will become less productive.

To keep our cities among the world’s most liveable we must adapt quickly to the new challenges and pressures that face us. Local, state and federal government need to work together, with businesses, educational institutions, community organisations and city residents to ensure the long term prosperity, liveability and sustainability of our cities.

Australia’s capital city Lord Mayors are committed to advance the shared interests of our great cities. Now is the time for all levels of government to seize the opportunities and put in place the actions that will shape Australia in the years and decades ahead. There is no time to waste.