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Policy

Australia now has an urbanist Prime Minister

Judging by reports observed on various media platforms over the past 24 hours, it seems there are a lot of people and lobbyist groups waiting to tap the new Prime Minister on the shoulder and talk about their cause. From people hoping for change on issues such as marriage equality and climate change - which Malcolm Turnbull is well known for having a different view from his party - to more traditional lobbyists such as the Australian Chamber of...

Interim Central Melbourne planning controls: the detail

While you were sleeping on Friday night, the Victorian Government gazetted new interim planning controls for the CBD and parts of Southbank, chief among them is the re-introduction of site plot ratios. A media release distributed at midday on Saturday states the City of Melbourne has been made a referral authority, after the council signed a memorandum of understanding with the Victorian Government. The Central City Study Area. Image supplied...

And on the third day... Infrastructure Victoria was born

The Legislative Assembly yesterday agreed to the amendments proposed by the Legislative Council after the third reading of the Infrastructure Victoria Bill 2015 . Once the Governor has lent her signature to the bill, the way will be paved for the creation of Infrastructure Victoria. The Parliament passed 5 bills today http://t.co/V75wHdEdsq Next they go to the Governor for royal assent #springst — Victorian Parliament (@VicParliament) September...

Explainer: what's really keeping young and first home buyers out of the housing market

The current parliamentary inquiry into home ownership (link is external) is in the midst of public hearings, questioning, among other things, the decline in home ownership among younger Australians. This, however, is not a recent issue. For a long time young people have found it difficult to purchase their first home. Home ownership rates for households aged 25-34 began to decline close to 40 years ago; declines for those aged 35-44 followed a decade later.

Making apartments affordable: moving from speculative to deliberative development

The following is an abstract from the " Making Apartments Affordable - moving from speculative to deliberative development " paper published by Swinburne University in late June. Urban Melbourne will let the paper do the talking and we likewise recommend all development industry participants from the CEO level to the analyst level download the paper from Australian Policy Online . The paper's authors are Dr Andrew Sharam - Research Fellow at...

A Ministerial Advisory Committee appointed to oversee Fishermans Bend

The State Government has unveiled a team of experts and community representatives to guide Fishermans Bend beyond its formative stages, with emphasis placed upon achieving planning success. The Ministerial Advisory Committee has been assembled post an assessment period where in excess of 100 expressions of interest were fielded. Forming a Ministerial Advisory Committee is in line with the Labor Government's intent to reform Fishermans Bend's...

Australians love tiny houses, so why aren't more of us living in them?

Housing affordability is a perennial problem in Australia and has worsened significantly over the past three decades. Multiple reasons exist for the the lack of affordable housing. On the demand side these include population growth and increased migration to urban areas, easily accessible housing finance, tax incentives and a “strong cultural preference for owner-occupied detached houses”. On the supply side, affordability problems are exacerbated by inflexible and slow responses to the need for new housing stock, lack of infrastructure and generally inefficient planning processes and development assessment by local governments.

Does Melbourne's CBD need density controls?

Planners and urban designers have mostly sought to increase densities in Australia’s cities. Society’s low-density love affair has brought us unending sprawl, with all its social, environmental and economic ills. Attempts to rein in our metropolises’ spreading girth and create more sustainable, liveable and economically-efficient cities have focused on strategic increases in density to support public transport use and reach viability thresholds...

All being equal podcast: affordable housing in Melbourne

Housing in Australian cities – is it affordable? Treasury secretary John Fraser believes that Sydney and some parts of Melbourne are unequivocally in a housing bubble. Both cities are among the most expensive in the world. The Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey disagrees, saying that with the access to credit that is afforded by a good job housing is still easily affordable. For low income earners though that might not be reassuring. The following...

The Napthine Government's planning tax legacy

From 1 July 2015 a new levy under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic) (the Act) must be paid to the State Revenue Office in respect of all planning permit applications for developments in metropolitan Melbourne with an estimated development cost of over $1,000,000. The levy is $1.30 for every $1,000 of the estimated cost of the development. This payment is in addition to statutory planning application fees and due to the formula used to...

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Development & Planning

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 06:00
Planning Minister Richard Wynne has approved another commercial tower at Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter development in the Docklands. The building known as Melbourne Quarter Tower will be located at 693 Collins Street, injecting almost 55,000sqm of office space into the precinct across its 28 floors, in addition to approximately 2,500sqm of retail space.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 12:00
As part of the enabling stage of the Queen Victoria Market Renewal Project, the City of Melbourne has finally revealed their plans for the former Munro site, to be developed by PDG Corporation into a mixed-use development comprising a 58-storey Bates Smart designed-tower of 308 dwellings and a 300-room hotel, after the developer was awarded the rights to develop the site on CoM's behalf.

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

Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 12:00
The large-scale redevelopment of Richmond's former Jaques engineering complex has been marked by an number of onsite dedications. Dating back to 1885 and with frontages to Palmer, Coppin, Dyer and Griffiths Streets, the 9,945sqm site's engineering heritage has been permanently embossed across the site.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 13:00
Victoria Walks, a walking promotion charity supported by VicHeath, is leading a crowdsourcing initiative that is supported by the State Government and 14 councils. The campaign aims to collect and analyse opinions on walking right across the Melbourne metropolitan area. The authorities are asking people to indicate their walking safety concerns through an interactive online map on CrowdSpot's platform.