Urban Affairs is a twice-weekly email bulletin service focused on urban planning and development. Each news item links to a primary document from politicians, government agencies, peak bodies and research organisations. The great majority of our content is not reported by the general media, and is tailored to inform individuals, business, government, and other organisations involved in urban planning and development, and the many industries that surround it.

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Bulletins

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HOUSING AND PROPERTY / ECONOMICS

Housing affordability remained relatively stable over the June quarter, but first home buyer levels continue to be at near record lows, according to the Real Estate Institute. [Full Text]

Interest payable on dwellings by households grew 8.8 per cent per year between 2002 and 2013, compared to 3.1 per cent in the previous period, according to the ABS. [Full Text]

Dwelling approvals fell 0.5 per cent in trend terms during July and have fallen for seven months, according to the ABS. [Full Text]

The HIA said dwelling approvals remain at very high levels by historic standards. [Full Text]

Master Builders said detached houses are taking over as the key driver of growth. [Full Text]

ECONOMICS

RBA Governor Glen Stevens said the Bank still expects growth to be a little below trend over the year ahead. [Full Text]

Australia's economy will experience historically tough times over the next few years, according to BIS Shrapnel. [Full Text]

The HIA said the economy continues to defy more pessimistic forecasts. [Full Text]

INFRASTRUCTURE

Minister Warren Truss announced new members of the Infrastructure Australia Board. [Full Text]

Shadow Minister Anthony Albanese criticised the announcement and said the PM has failed to convene the Urban Policy Forum. [Full Text]

Infrastructure Australia Chair Mark Birrell said the new board is the first step in advancing the authority's work. [Full Text]

Productivity Commission Chair Peter Harris discussed infrastructure investment at a hearing for the Inquiry on infrastructure planning and procurement. [Full Text]

INDUSTRY

A guide to the procurement of construction products was launched by Parliamentary Secretary Bob Baldwin. [Full Text]

The Ai Group said the launch is a great example of government and industry working together to reduce the risks presented by dangerous proliferation of non-conforming building products. [Full Text]

Master Builders said the importance of compliant building products should not be underestimated. [Full Text]

The PM released the final report of the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Programme. [Full Text]

PLANNING / ENVIRONMENT

The Greens welcomed reports that the Palmer United Party will block plans to hand federal environmental approval powers to state governments. [Full Text]

LOCAL GOVERNMENT / DESIGN

A child-friendly cities and communities toolkit has been released by the Victorian Local Governance Association. [Full Text]

HEALTH / DESIGN / INTERNATIONAL

The World Health Organisation issued an update to its health economic assessment tools for walking and cycling. [Full Text]

GENERAL / EVENTS

Shadow Minister Anthony Albanese will discuss 'A national agenda for more productive, sustainable and liveable cities' at the National Press Club on 24 September. [Full Text]

NEW SOUTH WALES / GENERAL

AECOM released a summary of results from its 'Sydney Connected' engagement process on the future of Sydney, in partnership with the Sydney Design Festival. [Full Text]

NEW SOUTH WALES / PLANNING

Around a third of Sydney's projected growth could be housed in towers around transport nodes, protecting much of the existing low rise suburbs, according to the Urban Taskforce. [Full Text]

NEW SOUTH WALES / DESIGN

Community facility designs by architect Peter Stutchbury have been released for Sydney's $440 million Green Square development. [Full Text]

NEW SOUTH WALES / PLANNING / AFFORDABLE HOUSING / EVENTS

Shelter NSW will host a lecture series on urban planning, equality and affordable housing, in Sydney during October. [Full Text]

NORTHERN TERRITORY / GENERAL

Peter Chandler has been announced as the new Deputy Chief Minister of the NT. [Full Text]

NORTHERN TERRITORY / HOUSING AND PROPERTY / ECONOMICS

Residential building approvals in the NT recorded a decline in July, according to the HIA. [Full Text]

VICTORIA / DESIGN / HOUSING AND PROPERTY

Premier Denis Napthine announced the Expressions of Interest process for a mixed use development at Melbourne's Federation Square East. [Full Text]

Further information on Federation Square East is online. [Full Text]

VICTORIA / LOCAL GOVERNMENT / INFRASTRUCTURE / TRANSPORT

The Municipal Association of Victoria advocated for a state-wide transport infrastructure plan as part of its state election wish list. [Full Text]

VICTORIA / LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Results from Victoria's annual Local Government Community Satisfaction Survey have been released. [Full Text]

VICTORIA / PLANNING / TRANSPORT / INFRASTRUCTURE

Minister Matthew Guy announced new planning zones for the ports of Geelong, Hastings and Portland. [Full Text]

VICTORIA / WATER

A discussion paper on whole-of-water-cycle management was released by the Victorian Government. [Full Text]

VICTORIA / HOUSING AND PROPERTY / ECONOMICS

Residential building approvals in Victoria recorded a modest contraction in July, according to the HIA. [Full Text]

QUEENSLAND / TRANSPORT / INFRASTRUCTURE

The Environmental Impact Statement for Brisbane's Bus and Train Tunnel has been released for public comment. [Full Text]

Premier Campbell Newman said changes to the project's planning and design have been made, based on previous community feedback. [Full Text]

Barton Deakin issued a brief on the Brisbane Bus and Train Tunnel Environmental Impact Statement. [Full Text]

QUEENSLAND / TRANSPORT

Premier Newman announced that the Queensland Government will re-invest savings from the scrapped carbon tax towards public transport. [Full Text]

WESTERN AUSTRALIA / ECONOMICS

Economic stress in Perth has shifted from inner to outer suburbs over the past 5-10 years, according to a report by the Committee for Perth. [Full Text]