Infrastructure and proper transportation, like a good Cairns to Port Douglas shuttle, is key to a good city. Melbourne has a fair amount of cafes, bars, and other late night attractions, which seems good, but in infrastructure, people are saying that it’s, at least, a decade behind its biggest rival city, Sydney.
Notably, this opinion isn’t from Sydneysiders, but from Melburnians, with one among them being Alan Tudge, the Federal Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population.
Mr. Tudge spoke at the SMH Population Summit, where he expressed his opinion on the matter, saying that Sydney had managed to get ahead of Melbourne with regards to spending and developing its roads and rail. He notes that this is an issue that needs to be dealt with, as this “infrastructure backlog” would make it harder for Melbourne to cope with its population growth, which has been consistently higher than the vast majority of the country.
Sydney’s population of 5.2 million is just behind Melbourne’s by a quarter million, but the latter’s growth rate of 2.2% is higher than the former’s 1.8%. The discrepancy is largely due to the fact that a lot of Aussies are moving into Melbourne from across the country, which gives them the edge with the more-or-less even overseas immigration.
Forecasts suggest that Melbourne will be the largest Australian city, beating out Sydney.
Tudge says that the country’s overall population growth rate of 1.6% per annum has put a lot of pressure on the cities, beyond the needs of travel like Cairns to Port Douglas shuttle, to which Sydney and the NSW Government has responded by putting in lots of money into infrastructure, which will transform the city.
He contrasts this with Melbourne, which, Tudge says, is very much behind Sydney, resulting in a slowed pace in the city, crush capacity in the public transport system, as well as construction and housing facing a lot of pressure to keep up.
That being said, Melbourne is currently spending $11 billion on a new rail tunnel for the Melbourne Metro system, located through the CBD, which is set to open in six years. There have also been plans for a rail link that’ll connect the Melbourne Airport to the rest of city, as well as a rail loop for the city’s outer suburban areas, among other developments.
As a result, Jacinta Allan, Minister for Transport Infrastructure rebukes Tudge’s statements, saying that he’s missed a few things and needs to take another good look.