It was a pleasure this month to hear from the Honorable Minister Angus Taylor, our Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation and the Liberal Member for Hume. I got to hear his thoughts not once, but twice in the same week.
It intrigues me that Minister Taylor is the Minister for Cities but comes from the reasonably remote regional town of Goulburn (good on ya, Goulburn!). Though I’m a city girl, I also spend time at a remote property in his electorate, so I was particularly interested to hear what the Minister had to say.
I can see that he gets it: the challenges and opportunities of both town and country. From his exposure to country life and challenges of industry and economic survival, he has seen it all.
So, what are the challenges?
Productivity and innovation – we need to produce more, but with less. For millennia, humanity has strived to do more with less while still managing to thrive in whatever we’ve been doing.
Affordability and accessibility – we all need access to work and significant housing within our cities and beyond city limits, and these require workable transport and infrastructure.
Liveability and sustainability – Turnbull and Taylor are agreed that cities are there to serve us, not the other way around. They are all about communities.
In terms of what our future will hold, cities will still attract the big business and growth so we need to be ready for it and find community within it. There is a carbon neutral precinct on its way in 2017 which is very exciting.
The growth of industry will be in service-based economies and the need for strong digital capacity within this to achieve technological and economic transformational opportunities for both cities and rural areas.
With such a focus on driving economic growth through technology and products, and producing more with less, Minister Taylor sees the importance of disclosure and transparency, but also the need for standards to ensure best practice for these products and services. He also sees the need for all of us to collaborate and work together to achieve this, especially through communication and cooperation across all levels of government.
It seems Minister Taylor and I agree on many things: the need for transparency, for standards, for collaboration, and to do more with less. We also both see a need to move towards more service-based business, a sentiment that aligns well with GECA’s capacity for certifying services as well as products. Above all, we both see the need for standards that go above and beyond the ‘business as usual’ approach, to make sure we’re doing the right thing for the environment and for the health and wellbeing of our communities, whether they are city-based, rural, or global.