Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Applications open for Suburban Jobs program

Media release
07 December 2011

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Tony Burke, today announced the opening of applications for the Suburban Jobs program.

The Suburban Jobs initiative will support local and state governments to plan and help deliver employment opportunities close to residential areas in growing areas of Australia's major capital cities.

Mr Burke today encouraged governments, businesses and community organisations to work together to apply for grants under the program.

"The Gillard Government wants working Australians to spend less time and money travelling to and from work every local suburban job is a car out of a traffic jam," Mr Burke said.

"The distance of existing and planned housing to employment is a growing problem in a number of our major cities especially in outer metropolitan growth areas.

"This new initiative is about encouraging employment hubs in the outer suburbs of our major cities to balance out some of these differences and provide more opportunities for Australians to share in the benefits of our economic growth.

"While it's good urban policy to support infill development closer to the central business districts, it is also important to plan for new jobs and hubs of employment in new residential areas.

"It's about laying the foundations for a more sustainable Australia and taking steps so that more people in our outer suburbs can get the jobs they want closer to where they live."

Suburban Jobs will support substantial on-ground projects that help deliver improved employment distribution outside the CBDs of major capital cities, providing local jobs and making the growing suburbs more liveable.

Attracting and retaining jobs in suburban areas will help communities to be more sustainable in the long term by improving the productivity of local economies, providing opportunities for residents to work, learn, shop and socialise locally, allowing people time to connect with friends and family.

Through the Suburban Jobs program, the Government will contribute grant funding to innovative projects that include public good capital works, along with activities like planning or research, data collection, community engagement initiatives, or demonstrations of how to best make use of the digital economy to provide local employment opportunities.

Suburban Jobs will support the implementation of the Sustainable Australia: Sustainable Communities strategy, and complements work underway through the National Digital Economy Strategy, the COAG cities agenda, and the National Urban Policy.

A wide range of stakeholders helped in the design of the program, including state and local governments, researchers, industry representative bodies, community organisations and businesses.

"The Gillard Government is committed to creating a sustainable Australia a nation of sustainable communities where people want to work and live," Mr Burke said.

The program guidelines can be found at

Grant applications for the program must be submitted by 17 February 2012.