The report analysed population growth, jobs growth and commuter flows in Australia’s four largest cities. It found:
1) Melbourne was the only city in which jobs growth in the outer suburbs had failed to keep pace with the population boom. Parts of outer Melbourne now have less than one job for every three working people, forcing residents to commute further for employment.
2) Eighty-four per cent of outer Melbournians drive to work, the highest level among Australia’s biggest cities, and just 9% use public transport.
Monash University Professor of Public Transport Graham Currie said any city growing in population without expanding public transport was planning for decline. He said “the future cupboard of public transport projects is looking bare” and that “If population grows by 25% but services remain essentially static, we have a per capita decline of 25 per cent in service levels. We are not responding to growth. Rather we are going backwards”.
This report reveals as a fraud the idea that Melbourne’s rapid population growth is okay. Jobs are far removed from homes, and workers are not using public transport, leading to traffic congestion, long commutes, and reduced quality of life for everybody – a planning debacle.
It’s all very well to say that what is needed is better planning, but expanding the urban growth boundary and high rise and urban consolidation have both given us the outcomes we have today. The better planning never happens, and it won’t as long as Melbourne’s population continues to grow by 200 a day, 1500 a week, 75,000 each year.