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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The Reserve Bank Board said that in Australia, the economic recovery is well under way and has been stronger than was earlier expected. [Full Text]

The Ai Group said the Reserve Bank Board's assessment that economic output will have recovered to late 2019 levels by the middle of this year is very encouraging and a stunning turnaround on early expectations. [Full Text]

The Reserve Bank issued a chart pack, including charts on house prices, building approvals and capital expenditure. [Full Text]

The ABS announced that approvals for private houses reached a record high in December. [Full Text]

The Housing Industry Association said that demand for residential land jumped by 27 per cent in the September quarter, 62 per cent higher than at the same time the previous year. [Full Text]

SQM Research said national residential property listings decreased in January by 2.9 per cent, down by 10.5 per cent compared to 12 months ago. [Full Text]

The Melbourne Institute said that despite rising numbers of new home loans amid the COVID-19 economic recovery, the outlook for housing affordability remains bleak and more of us will be renting long term. [Full Text]

The Ai Group said the stronger performance of Australia's construction sector over the months of December and January is further evidence of the extension of the recovery from the depths of the COVID-19 crisis. [Full Text]

The ABC updated 'Charting the COVID-19 spread in Australia'. [Full Text]

Domain discussed a report showing that regional communities anywhere near the bush are at increased risk of fire as the climate changes, and better planning is needed to avoid building in danger zones. [Full Text]

Minister McCormack discussed the opportunities and challenges for regional Australia, in an opinion piece. [Full Text]

The Institute for Research on Public Policy issued 'Are New Technologies Changing the Nature of Work? The Evidence So Far'. [Full Text]

The Academy of the Social Sciences issued 'State of the Social Sciences 2021 - Discussion Paper'. [Full Text]

Minister Stokes approved a $40 million project to refurbish university-owned terraces at Darlington in Sydney to provide more safe and affordable accommodation for students. [Full Text]

Minister Barilaro announced new 'Regional Workforce Principles' and committed to increase the proportion of senior government roles in the regions by 2023. [Full Text]

The Planning Institute made a submission to NSW Planning on the draft local character clause, overlay and exemptions pathways. [Full Text]

The Urban Taskforce also made a submission on the draft local character clause. [Full Text]

Minister Stephen-Smith called for input to develop a master plan for the Canberra Hospital campus. [Full Text]

Chief Minister Barr announced $18 million over four years to expand specialist homelessness services in the ACT. [Full Text]

Chief Minister Barr announced $27 million for the design and construction of schools and related infrastructure at north Gungahlin in the ACT. [Full Text]

The ACT Government announced Federal environmental approval for Stage 2A of Canberra's light rail, from Alinga Street to Commonwealth Park. [Full Text]

The NT Government released policy position and consultation papers on electricity market reforms aimed at a goal of 50 per cent renewables by 2030. [Full Text]

Minister Fletcher said the Darwin City Deal funded Detailed Design contract for the Larrakia Cultural Centre has been awarded. [Full Text]

Minister Wynne said new provisions under Victoria's Planning and Environment Act have been introduced to prevent developers from benefiting from the unlawful demolition or neglect of heritage buildings. [Full Text]

The Community Housing Industry Association issued 'Energy Efficiency in the Victorian Community Housing Sector: The impact of the Victorian Property Fund's Environmentally Sustainable Housing Funding Round 2017-18'. [Full Text]

Minister Horne said the report provides practical information and case studies to help Registered Housing Associations apply for government grants for social housing, and plan for and carry out improvement projects. [Full Text]

Minister Wynne announced a ban on flammable aluminium composite panels and rendered expanded polystyrene as external wall cladding on all future multi-storey developments in Victoria. [Full Text]

The Housing Industry Association said the cooling of Victoria's housing market conditions has been on the horizon for a while now and the COVID shock appears to have accelerated this trend. [Full Text]

The Victorian Government released the report from a review of the State's post-secondary education and training system. [Full Text]

The Queensland Government announced a feasibility study to establish a renewable hydrogen demonstration plant. [Full Text]

The Planning Institute made a submission to Brisbane City Council on the 'North-West Transport Network Business Case - Transport ideas for Brisbane's northwest'. [Full Text]

Concept designs have been released for the Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre to be built at Lot Fourteen in Adelaide. [Full Text]

Minister Fletcher said an alliance between Laing O'Rourke, Arup, WSP and Main Roads will guide the Swan River Crossings project into the next stages of alignment investigation, detailed design and construction. [Full Text]

Minister Fletcher announced the contract to deliver the $386 million Great Eastern Highway Bypass Interchanges project for Perth's eastern suburbs. [Full Text]

Minister Ley announced $70 million for recycling in WA. [Full Text]

Minister Barnett called for feedback on the Tasmanian Government's Draft Renewable Energy Coordination Framework. [Full Text]