The Victorian government has begun its “reboot” of the Plan Melbourne strategy with the release of a discussion paper designed to elicit expert and community input.
The government said an update to the plan on Melbourne’s future growth was necessary because the final plan released by the former Liberal government did not reflect the weight of community input or expert advice that had been received, which had led to a loss of confidence in the process. Critical issues like housing affordability and climate change were left out under the old plan, a government statement said.
Planning minister Richard Wynne said the draft Plan Melbourne had received 450 submissions – now available online – however the final plan had radically departed from the draft.
“Planning is about people, and the community was largely ignored in the Liberal’s version of Plan Melbourne. This refresh will get the balance right to ensure Melbourne’s long-term liveability,” Mr Wynne said.
The update will also include new policy changes, including the commitment to build the Melbourne Metro project and the decision not to go ahead with the East-West Link.
“By 2051, Melbourne’s population will be approaching eight million people. We need a smart plan for growth to ensure we create jobs and keep Melbourne as the world’s most liveable city,” Mr Wynne said.
“Our reboot puts affordable housing and climate change into the plan.”
The Property Council’s Victoria branch appears concerned, however, citing a mismatch between the ambitions of Plan Melbourne’s Ministerial Advisory Committee and the government’s capacity to deliver.
Property Council Victoria executive director Jennifer Cunich said no government in the past 14 years had been able to implement recommendations contained within its planning planning blueprint.
“This history of failure is largely due to a consistent lack of funding, community support and political will for genuine implementation,” Ms Cunich said.
“The Property Council is very concerned that too many of the measures proposed by the MAC will fall foul of the same fate. The problem with the latest attempt is that it has been written for a government with unlimited resources and community support – and that simply does not exist.”
However, the council did throw support behind recommendations including “boosting climate change reliance, building energy efficiency, code assessment for multi-unit development and planning for future public transport infrastructure”.
It also had particular objections regarding growth area resequencing, imposed housing diversity requirements and new taxes on residential development, which it said would impact on affordability.
- See the refresh discussion paper