Can the NBN ‘save’ our cities?Posted: August 24, 2010 Filed under: Decentralisation | Tags: Decentralisation, Docklands, National Broadband Network, regional development, Tony Windsor 5 Comments
In yesterday’s post I asked if our largest capitals could grow bigger and remain liveable. Today I’m looking at the flipside – whether or not the National Broadband Network (NBN) will give regional centres the wherewithal to draw population growth away from Sydney and Melbourne.
This question is prompted by avuncular New England Independent, Tony Windsor, who argued on Q&A this week that the National Broadband Network could be a key driver of decentralisation:
“If there’s been a piece of infrastructure (if it’s done correctly) that negates distance as being a disadvantage of living in country Australia, this is it…..
“We’re going through a population debate at the moment. The election was about the people of western Sydney and western Melbourne and Dick Smith and others talking about how we’ve got to constrain the population of this nation. Nothing about regional Australia in that context. Nothing about the infrastructure out there. If we get the broadband system right it could revolutionise country living and solve some of the city-based problems”.
I’ve previously concluded (here, here, here and here) that the prospects for diverting growth from our cities to regional centres on a significant scale do not appear promising (other than if nearby regional centres become satellites i.e. de facto outer suburbs). However could the NBN, as Mr Windsor suggests, be the magic bullet? Read the rest of this entry »