Smart Cities Plan


The Smart Cities Plan will position our cities to succeed in the 21st Century economy. It is a plan for supporting productive, accessible, liveable cities that attract talent, encourage innovation and create jobs and growth. It represents a new framework for cities policy at the federal level - and it is a framework that will guide action across various portfolios, to deliver better outcomes for our cities, the people who live in them and all Australians.

The Smart Cities Plan and the Australian Government’s role in shaping better Australian cities were welcomed across the 131 submissions.

Key points contained in the AACB Smart Cities Plan submission:

  • Convention bureaux are public-private partnerships between local government, state government and city businesses, and across the globe, convention bureaux have evolved as the preferred model of city destination marketing;
  • Business events are responsible for much more than creating jobs – they enrich a city’s intellectual brand and boosts its reputation;
  • Collaboration at major international conferences is central to the flow of ideas;
  • While Melbourne and Sydney are listed among the world’s most liveable cities (according to Euromonitor International), the attractiveness of Australian cities is driven by lifestyle/leisure pursuits, with the evidence of this being only one Australian city (Sydney) being rated in the top 20 in the world (18th) for innovation attractiveness (according to the Innovation Cities Index);
  • A decade ago, Australia was consistently among the ten most popular countries to host international association conventions – today we sit at 15th. Based upon the industry’s global ranking system, Sydney is our highest placed city at 25th, followed by Melbourne at 49th, Brisbane (93rd) and Perth (148th) in the world;
  • With Australia’s share of the association convention market declining in the face of intense competition from major Asian cities – AACB supports government investment of no less than $10 million per annum to help fund Australian bids for international business events;
  • To make our cities even “smarter”, AACB supports the establishment of a travel bursary to help fund academics and researchers from the developing world to major conferences held in Australia;
    Given exhibitions are showcases for innovation and the relatively close geographical proximity of
  • Australia to Asia, maximising visitation from Asia is vital to the prosperity of Australian cities and reducing visa fees would assist with this; and
  • Restoring the rules around the Export Market Development Grant scheme for approved bodies will allow convention bureaux to better market Australian cities overseas as potential hosts of more international business events.


Prime Minister's Address on Smart Cities Summit

Prime Minister's Address- Smart Cities Summit on youtube

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