Oh My Lord!
City Deals should deliver productivity rather than political wins, scooters could be either a disaster or a dream depending on where you lived, and density was never a dirty word. These were just three of the insights from four of Australia’s most forward-thinking lord mayors.
There is more work to do before City Deals deliver, the panel agreed. Anna Reynolds, Hobart’s Lord Mayor was perturbed by the lack of consultation around her city’s draft deal and called for greater consultation with those “on the ground”. Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp wondered why Australia’s fastest growing city, Melbourne, was still without a City Deal while Andrew Wilson, Lord Mayor of the City of Parramatta argued that “Western Sydney will not reach its potential without large investment and long-range planning – and we are talking in the billions.”
When the conversation turned to growth, Wilson argued that his constituents weren’t “frightened” of density. But they are frightened of losing their prized quality of life. Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore suggested sharing the story of what good density brings – amenity, convenience, lifestyle, connection and more – is the secret. Melbourne’s Sally Capp acknowledged that the community fear is real, but when you can “show coordinated and well-managed intervention them people will start to relax”.