The Federal Government has established a new Urban Policy Forum which will advise the Government on the implementation of its National Urban Policy.


The objectives of the Forum are to:

  1. Advise the Commonwealth and the Minister on the implementation of the National Urban Policy;
  2. Identify innovative approaches to achieving the goals and objectives of the National Urban Policy;
  3. Facilitate cross-sector consultation, collaboration and partnerships to support successful implementation of initiatives in the National Urban Policy; and
  4. Serve as a stakeholder forum to effectively support and complement other Government work requiring a coherent and integrated approach within cities.

 To be chaired by the Secretary of the Department of the Department of Infrastructure, Mike Mrdak, the Forum will hold its first meeting in Canberra next month.  The Forum will meet twice yearly or more often as required and agreed by members.


Members of the Forum include:

  • Mike Rann, the former South Australian Premier,
  • Professor Brian Howe , Chair of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Cities Expert Panel and former Deputy Prime Minister,
  • Genia McCaffery , head of the Local Government Association,
  • Maria Tarrant, Deputy Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia;
  • Lisa Scaffidi, Lord Mayor of the City of Perth and chair elect of the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors;
  • Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney
  • Valerie Schier, inaugural Mayor of Cairns Regional Council;
  • Paul Pisasale, Mayor of the City of Ipswich in Queensland;
  • Dr Owen Donald, Chair of the National Housing Supply Council;
  • Sue Holliday, Chair of the Built Environment Industry Innovation Council;
  • Professor John Thwaites, Chair of the Australian Building Codes Board and a Professorial Fellow at Monash University;
  • Monica Richter, Sustainable Australia Program Manager for the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF);
  •  Peter Verwer, Chief Executive Officer of the Property Council Australia;
  • Romilly Madew, Chair of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) Cities Task Group and Chief Executive of the Green Building Council of Australia.
  • Megan Motto, Chief Executive Officer of Consult Australia;
  • Brendan Lyon, Chief Executive Officer of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia;
  • John Lee, Chief Executive Officer of the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF);
  • Maria Tarrant,  Deputy Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia (BCA);
  • Kirsty Kelly,  Chief Executive Officer of the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA);
  • David Parken, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Institute of Architects;
  • Stephen Hodge, Government Relations Manager for the Cycling Promotion Fund;
  • Adrian Pisarski, Chairperson of National Shelter;
  • Dr Cassandra Goldie, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Council of Social Service;
  • Adjunct-Professor Robert Morris-Nunn, a Director of Circa Architecture;
  • Stephen Alchin, Executive Director, Planning at Infrastructure Australia;
  • Gary White, Government Planner at the Queensland Government’s Department of Local Government and Planning (DLGP);
  • Richard Lindsay, Chief Executive Officer of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA).


The establishment of the Urban Policy Forum follows the Federal Government’s earlier urban policy initiatives including:

  • Creation of the Major Cities Unit;
  • Release of the National Urban Policy—Our Cities, Our Future—a long term blueprint for Australia’s 18 biggest cities and regional centres;
  • Development of Creating Places for People: an urban design protocol for Australian cities, a tool to improve the quality and useability of public spaces and city buildings;
  • A commitment of more Federal infrastructure dollars to urban public transport than all our predecessors combined since Federation ($7.3 billion);
  • Establishment of a $20 million Liveable Cities program to support high-quality demonstration urban design projects and better urban plans;
  • Requiring all state and territory governments to have strategic planning systems in place for their capital cities;
  • Publishing a regular State of Australian Cities report to monitor the performance of our 18 biggest cities over time so policy-makers can measure and assess progress towards more productive, sustainable and liveable cities.


The National Urban Policy and the urban design protocol can be downloaded from: