The message from the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors (CCCLM) is clear – Australia’s major cities must not be neglected by the incoming Federal Government.
Whilst much of the current election campaign focuses on marginal suburban seats, it’s critical that the economic and social output of our capital cities is recognised.

CCCLM Cities Matter Spokesperson and Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Martin Haese, said that in an incredibly tight election campaign, the economic importance of cities must be acknowledged.

“Governments around the world recognise the national significance of capital cities as centres of innovation, investment, jobs growth and wealth generation,” said the Lord Mayor.

“We are seeing a renewed focus and engagement on cities from the Federal Government, and it’s critical that all levels of government work together to address the challenges capital cities face.”

The Lord Mayor urged the Federal Government to focus on three key areas for cities:

  • Infrastructure
  • The economy
  • Climate resilience

“City‐based jobs in health, education, advanced manufacturing and professional services continue to grow,” said the Lord Mayor.

“City economies are the engine room of a strong national economy, and it’s our cities where Australia’s future jobs are being created.”
Australia’s capital cities are vital to our economy, generating productivity and high value add jobs. Our capital cities accounted for over $1,000 billion in economic activity in 2013‐14, as well as:

  • 68 per cent of Australia’s GDP
  • 82 per cent of GDP growth in 2013‐14
  • 66 per cent of Australia’s 2.1 million businesses
  • 69 per cent of Australia’s employed labour force – 8.1 million workers
  • 76 per cent of Australia’s employment growth over the last decade.

The Lord Mayor said ‘knowledge sector’ jobs will drive Australia’s future economy and the vast majority of these new jobs are based in capital cities, with cities also being our education hubs.

“Cities matter and it’s vital they continue to matter to the Federal Government after 2 July.”

Further information is included below and, to find out more about why cities matter, please visit:


  • Education: Capital cities host the majority of our universities, including the ‘group of 8’ institutions and almost 80 per cent of all tertiary and university students study in our capital cities.
  • Night Time Economy: Cities drive Australia’s night time economy (NTE) and recent research by CCCLM has found that annual NTE sales revenues in 2013‐14 was estimated at $108 billion – an increase of 20 per cent from $90 billion in 2009 , whereas the broader Australian economy (unconnected to the NTE) grew by 13.8 per cent in the same period.
  • Infrastructure: Urban congestion is a major issue which cost the Australian economy almost $14 billion in 2011 and is forecast to increase to more than $53 billion by around 2030. Significant government investment in key infrastructure across the country will not only boost local city economies in each location, helping business activity and employment growth, but will bring economic benefits to the whole country.
  • Environment: Australian cities are vulnerable to a number of natural disasters – rising sea levels, flooding in low lying areas, extreme heat conditions and extreme weather events. Cities are where the climate crisis can be averted. By working together, all levels of Australian government can ensure that Australia’s cities are strong and resilient, offering a quality of life that city residents today and future generations of city dwellers can enjoy.