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Policy

Property Council lunch with the Minister for Planning

Last week at a Property Council of Australia lunch in Victoria the Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne, presented to a sell-out crowd. The first part of the presentation centred on the State Budget and as expected, the “fully funded” delivery of the Melbourne Metro Rail Project was a big focus. The Minster spoke of the construction of the underground Arden Station as being a big opportunity to support infill redevelopment in the Arden-Macaulay...

Queen Victoria Market advances as part of City of Melbourne's 2016-17 budget

City of Melbourne's draft 2016-17 Annual Plan and Budget was released late last week, with public submissions set to be accepted up until the Future Melbourne Committee decides upon the budget on 16 June 2016. With total spending of $495.89 million, $399.41 million is expected to be dedicated toward programs and services, while $108.48 million is earmarked for infrastructure programs. Council's headline project, the Queen Victoria Market, is...

City Deals still no more than a pamphlet after Budget 2016

Mounting public debt has sucked infrastructure spending capacity from the nation’s public balance sheets. The federal government proposes a new way forward, called “City Deals”. But the budget papers contain no further details, which is disappointing. Infrastructure provision in Australian cities, especially for transport, is in crisis. Our cities are growing rapidly, they are congested and they lack planning direction.

‘Getting it Done’ …with a surplus

Pragmatically themed and titled ‘Getting it Done’, Tract has put on its reading glasses to investigate what the Victorian Budget 2016/17 seeks to ‘get done’ for city building and regional development. Set against a discourse of job creation and infrastructure building, big spends include infrastructure investments in the Metropolitan rail network and the Western Distributor Tunnel while smaller but vital reforms include shifting the planning...
Monochrome portrait of Richard Wynne

The Planning Minister: on the proposed central city planning controls

Skyscrapers generate a lot of buzz around Melbourne. We are reviewing the central city planning controls for the first time in 30 years and this has generated more interest than any other planning issue I have been involved in. Melburnians love their CBD and our city draws residents, tourists and investment from around the world. Developers want to build here, more people want to live here and businesses base themselves here because of the...

Where do record rental prices leave low-income earners?

Average house rents in metropolitan Melbourne have increased by 5.3%), with apartment rents growing by 2.8%, over the last three months. A lack of affordable rental properties is a problem in Sydney too. This has fuelled speculation of a housing bubble, particularly in the wake of falling investor demand for new high-priced CBD apartments in these capital cities and others. But beyond the headlines lies a difficult policy task for all three levels of government, in conjunction with the private sector and civil society. They need not only to create more affordable housing, but to keep it affordable in the long run.

Two key planning policies set to reshape West Melbourne

West Melbourne continues to evolve with the suburb subject to a steady flow of new developments, as evidenced by the roughly 3,000 apartments in development and currently noted within Urban Melbourne's Project Database. With the boom in high density and high rise projects looming large over the suburb, City of Melbourne have gone about enacting two separate pieces of policy in order to better manage and facilitate the rapid change that is...

Broadmeadows receives a boost as urban regeneration beckons

Last week's announcement of funding for various Broadmeadows infrastructure projects has cast the often maligned suburb back into the urban renewal spotlight. Designated a Major Activity Centre on the Metropolitan Planning Authority's citywide interactive project map , the heart of Broadmeadows is set to receive $14.3 million from the State Government in order to continue its revitalisation, with Broadmeadows Train Station and Boadmeadows Town...

How negative-gearing changes can bring life back to eerily quiet suburbs

With debate raging over who wins and who loses with proposed major changes to negative gearing, attention also falls on which Australian suburbs are most likely to suffer. The Australian Financial Review recently discussed the “Top 10 suburbs set to suffer under negative gearing plan”. The Australian soon joined this scare campaign. Mandurah in Western Australia, where I spent a recent weekend, is on the AFR’s list.

Scrap or preserve negative gearing? Here's six other options worth debating

Jago Dodson , RMIT University The Australian tax debate has placed negative gearing under scrutiny . Most of the debate lurches between retentionists, who back negative gearing as a necessary subsidy to support affordable housing , versus abolitionists, who see it as a market-distorting extravagance that delivers an unfair advantage to the wealthy . But what if there was a middle option between retention and abolition that made it work better?...

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Development & Planning

Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 12:00
With Victoria Police vacating 637 Flinders Street in 2019 to relocate to shiny new digs at Cbus Property's 311 Spencer Street, Sydney-based owners Anton Capital are seeking to offload the site a mere two years after initially acquiring it.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Friday, May 19, 2017 - 00:00
Rachel Ong , Curtin University ; Christopher Phelps , Curtin University ; Gavin Wood , RMIT University , and Steven Rowley , Curtin University Australia’s capital cities are getting more and more units, that are largely concentrated and come with a hefty price tag, a new report shows .

Visual Melbourne

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 07:00
Once again Melbourne has turned it on for the spectacular cultural juggernaut that is White Night. A crowd of around 600,000 took part in the all night festival of projections, performances, artworks and installations. Stealing the show again this year was the extraordinary projections upon the Royal Exhibition Building.

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Transport & Design

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 00:00
On Wednesday next week, RMIT's Centre for Urban Research is holding its third monthly Talking Transport event: The Melbourne Airport Rail Link, are we there yet? It is a free, ticketed event , to be held at RMIT's Building 80 - located at 445 Swanston Street - level 11, room 10 from 6:00 pm.

Sustainability & Environment

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 12:00
Over the course of the last week OSK Property has released images of a new Southbank park within its Melbourne Square development. The large public park will occupy more than 20 per cent of overall site and will be one of the first stages of the project to be delivered.