Australia’s town and urban planning should be transparent, egalitarian and ecologically sustainable, and work to stop overdevelopment.

Policy Methods (Federal & State)
To help achieve this Australia should:

  • Give real power to local communities in planning decisions. This would include:
    • Empowering local citizen juries by local council area to:
      • Determine a local plan stating the level of overall development (including total dwelling number, density and height limits) on a 10-year basis. This plan will incorporate commitments to infrastructure to accompany planned residential development, including the delivery of new schools, hospitals, public transport, roads, sporting facilities, etc;
      • Determine projects proposed outside of the scope of the local plan, including State-significant projects, to ensure any trade-offs are reflective of community desires.
      • Ensure that planning and zoning changes adhere to relevant environmental and heritage regulations.
  • Capture for the public the land value gains (unearned profits) from planning and rezoning, rather than gifting them to private sector developers. This would include:
    • Charging a 75% betterment tax on the total land value gain (between current use and the new approved use) at the time of a new planning approval. This tax reflects the fact that the value of the new property rights allowing higher value developments is created by the community.(1)
  • Preserve, rehabilitate or plant corridors of biodiversity in new developments, in accordance with fire regulations, to both preserve wildlife and provide recreational opportunities for local residents.
  • Ensure that new and existing homes and associated landscapes adapt to latest innovations in thermal and water efficiency and ecological design, including north facing, effective insulation, solar panels and water tanks.
  • Provide more overarching Federal Government involvement in planning, by establishing a National Planning Framework, to both help guide Federal Government population policy and better align investment in infrastructure to sustain healthy, prosperous and resilient cities and regions.
  • Lower housing demand and construction to a more manageable level via a sustainable population policy with slower growth.

Related policies



  1. This policy has been successfully functioning in the ACT since 1971.

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