The Lord Mayors of Australia’s capital cities have welcomed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s commitment to a "new era" of working together on initiatives aimed at building national prosperity.
The Lord Mayors, making up the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors (CCCLM), met with Mr Rudd and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese in Canberra this week to discuss a formal mechanism for capturing and implementing the new partnership arrangement.
The meeting follows a promise by Mr Rudd last August that if elected he would sit down with the CCCLM to discuss progressing a new alliance early in 2008.
CCCLM Chair Michael Harbison, the Lord Mayor of Adelaide, said the meeting produced a "major breakthrough" for the country’s eight major cities.
"The Prime Minister told us that cities were back on the agenda as a significant policy innovation, which was very pleasing to our ears," Mr Harbison said.
"He accepted our offer to invest resources jointly with the Australian Government to explore and set in motion programs geared to achieving broader and better outcomes, especially in social inclusion programs, such as alcohol management, homelessness and sustainability.
"The Prime Minister also expressed commitment to broad infrastructure programs relating to revitalising cities and achieving national coordination to the development of important projects," Mr Harbison said.
"The heart of our approach is a new effective arrangement for taking on and achieving joint results in the areas of social inclusion, urban congestion and transport, innovation, productivity and global engagement.
"This is an important linchpin of consolidating resources, ideas and programs to arrive at specific implementation timetables and specific outcomes.
"We are very pleased that the Prime Minister and Minister Albanese agreed on the need for such a partnership." Mr Harbison said the Council made it clear that numerous programs and projects already in place in individual cities would produce national outcomes when spread around the country under the partnership mechanism.
"Many things we are doing, if consolidated and expanded, will undoubtedly increase global competitiveness and the liveability of Australian cities," he said.
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