Cities parliamentary inquiry to head to Hobart

Treasurer Peter Gutwein will tell a parliamentary committee the federal government should do more to entice people to Tasmania for the sake of Australia’s overcrowded and congested centres.

A House of Representatives committee is holding an inquiry to look at how the nation’s cities can be kept sustainable and how new and existing regional towns can grow.

Specifically for regional towns, the committee will look at development in regional centres, promotion of competitive advantages of a regional place or business, and identification of infrastructure requirements.

It will visit Hobart on Thursday.

Mr Gutwein said Tasmania would be a good place to test programs and approaches beneficial to other states, in terms of sustainability of smaller settlements and how urban developments can mix with natural or rural areas.

But he said there should be more intergovernmental agreements to drive strategic planning or investment in the state’s regions.

"There is no doubt that Tasmania is on the cusp of a significant period of growth and could potentially shoulder more of the burden of growth that the larger mainland cities are struggling to cope with," Mr Gutwein said.

"With the right policy settings and commensurate support, the redirection of population growth away from these major centres to Tasmania would constitute a 'win win'.

"The Commonwealth Government should explore and promote mechanisms to capitalise on existing regional centres to entice people away from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.”

The University of Tasmania, Regional Development Australia, and the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry will also appear at the hearing.