Big cities measured on housing and health

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(Australian Associated Press)

Australians will soon be able to compare the performance of almost two dozen of the country’s biggest cities on issues such as housing affordability and life expectancy.

About 22 cities, each with more than 85,000 residents and together representing over 80 per cent of the national population, will be included in the performance framework.

The framework is expected to look at issues including governance, planning and regulation, infrastructure and investment, and housing affordability and supply.

It’ll also investigate jobs and skills, liveability and sustainability, and innovation and digital opportunities.

People will be able to compare cities on specific indicators but there won’t be an overall rating.

Instead of pitting cities against each other, the national performance scale will be designed to track how individual cities are developing over time.

A reference group will meet with Assistant Cities Minister Angus Taylor for the first time in Sydney on Wednesday to thrash out its parameters.

Mr Taylor said the project was about understanding how cities were changing and what interventions the government could use to make each work better.

“I’m a big believer that in life, love it or hate it, what gets measured gets done and what doesn’t get measured doesn’t really get done unless you’re lucky,” he said.

“So I am a big believer in evaluating performance frameworks for our cities and major suburban and regional areas, so we can see how they’re going.”

If the performance framework proves popular, it could be expanded in the future to include more cities.

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