Michael Grochowski Article

Plans for Melbourne’s growth corridors taking shape

VICTORIA’S Growth Areas Authority has released its draft Growth Corridor Plans for the decades ahead.  The plans set out the strategic direction for future urban development of land within Melbourne’s Urban Growth Boundary. The plans identify four growth corridors for Melbourne.

Included in the plans are areas for housing, jobs, transport, town centres, open space and key infrastructure for Melbourne’s newest suburbs and explain how land brought into Melbourne’s Urban Growth Boundary will be used.

The plans for the four growth areas, the Melbourne West Growth Corridor, Melbourne North, Melbourne South East and Sunbury, replace the 2006 Growth Area Framework Plans.

The GAA says the plans are a key plank in ensuring delivery of the government’s policy to release 50,000 new housing lots by 2012 providing Melbourne with the best planned land supply in Australia, and taking pressure off inappropriate developments in existing suburbs. It is expected that the release of new development land will go a long way to checking the issue of housing affordability.

The high level plans also provide certainty for zoning and biodiversity protection, while also ensuring Victoria’s continued growth and prosperity for the future.

Commenting on the plans, Committee for Melbourne CEO, Andrew MacLeod, said the draft plans demonstrate that the government is thinking strategically about Melbourne’s future but added that “new developments can be a very expensive way to accommodate population growth.”

Mr MacLeod said Melbourne should capitalise on infrastructure in existing suburbs and said the city can get better as it gets bigger, but only if it has a plan in place that can support medium to higher densities.

Whilst increasing the urban density in older established areas of Melbourne is necessary and desirable, this does not, and should not, take away from the significant benefits that new suburban residential developments offer the thousands on new arrivals into Melbourne as permanent residents each year.

Governments cannot ignore that fact that Melbourne is a very attractive place to live and will continue to draw new residents for decades to come.  A government that lags behind in its obligations to support growth with adequate infrastructure will do so at its peril.

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