GOVERNMENT RELEASES PLAN MELBOURNE BLUEPRINT
On Wednesday 9th October, Premier Denis Napthine and
Planning Minister Matthew Guy launched the much anticipated
planning and transport blueprintPlan Melbourne. According to the
press release, the blueprint will shape how Melbournians live and
work over the next 40 years.
This follows on from theMelbourne-Let's Talkdiscussion document,
released late 2012, and on whichFriends of Banyule(FOB) attended
briefings and made a submission. Key features of the new document,
which replacesMelbourne 2030, include:
permanent urban growth boundary, intended to curb urban sprawl and
redistributes population growth in new major population and
employment towns across the state. These include places such as
Ballan, Broadford, Kilmore, Warrigal, Drouin and Wonthaggi
Approximately half of Melbourne residential zones to be designated
neighbourhood zones, where high rise development would not be
Development of major new urban renewal centres. These include
places such as Fisherman's Bend, E. Gate, Arden and Macaulay
establishment of a Metropolitan Planning Authority, which will
oversee the implementation of various initiatives ofPlan Melbourne,
as well as structure plans and precincts
Investigating a third Melbourne airport in the southeast, to better
serve Gippsland and the southeast region
Notwithstanding the above aims, planning academic Michael Buxton
- Professor of Planning at RMIT University - commented that the
document fails to deliver on major issues facing a rapidly growing
Melbourne. These include things like a lack of allocated spending
on public transport infrastructure, to better deal with outer urban
growth corridors. He also notes urban growth boundaries have
already been expanded by 43,000 hectares.
In a wide ranging article in The Age(Thursday 10th
October) Professor Buxton identified the most serious failure being
that the document "… does not redirect transport spending from
roads to public transport and link this land to use…" Whilst the
document mentionedMelbourne Metro and rail lines, it was
essentially a roads document. Primacy is still given to the central
city, as well as designated activity centres. This will have a
detrimental effect on surrounding communities, including allowingas
of right development, with no appeal rights.
In our submission last year, FOB identified these and other
concerns, including new Planning Zones, which would encourage
development of large-scale ("big box") shopping centres; and in
turn increase car dependency. Development in green wedges and on
agricultural land is also an issue, as is protection of heritage.
Whilst some protection of neighbourhoods is provided for in certain
identified residential areas (Neighbourhood Zones), none is
provided in others.
A key concern we have - also raised in the article - is that,
despite many worthy statements of intent in the document, planning
under the blueprint will largely be determined by the development
industry and property interests, rather than by residents. It
remains to be seen how implementation will occur under the new
planning authority, and how, as Melbourne continues to expand
without sufficient infrastructure spending; especially on public
transport, e.g. in new outer urban areas, how successful the
blueprint might be.
It is difficult to determine whether this latest document is an
improvement on the more recentMelbourne 2030plan. When one
considers the more publicly focussed Metropolitan planning scheme
and the green wedges approach of the Hamer government in earlier
years, it is hard to be inspired with much confidence in the latest
We will provide further updates as the new planning arrangements
under the blueprint unfold.
DPCD are holding information sessions over the next month or so.
Further submissions can be lodged up until Friday 6th December -
Refer Dept. of Planning & Community Development web site -
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