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Melbourne is currently Australia’s fastest growing city and there are no signs the pace will slow.

According to 2016 Census data if Melbourne's population keeps growing at its current rate, five million people will call the city and its surrounds home by 2020, ballooning to nine million by 2050.

The federal committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities will visit Melbourne on Tuesday to hold a public hearing into the city's response to rapid population growth.

They are particularly interested in looking at rebalancing population between major cities and regional areas.

"This may involve improving the infrastructure and connectivity of existing regional centres to entice people away from capital cities like Melbourne," committee chair and NSW MP John Alexander said.

"It may be that developing brand new regional centres offers greater opportunity to accommodate a larger Australia in a sustainable manner."

In a submission to the enquiry, Professor Peter Newton from Swinburne University said levelling the spread of population won't succeed without better links between capital cities and regional centres.

"Twenty-first-century economies favour large cities and will continue to do so until provincial cities become part of a functional mega-metropolitan region centres on a major capital city," he said.

Regional towns will only grow in popularity if the commute to the CBD is cut to 30 minutes, Prof Newton said.

Submissions to the inquiry close on August 31.

 

By Benita Kolovos
 
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