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Policy

Comment: Plan Melbourne must enshrine steps to purge our insidious car culture

We are nearing the first anniversary of the Andrews Government, they certainly have hit the ground running and set a lot of inter-related policy areas in a different direction. It is just a pity that the public debate around planning has boiled down to high-rise or skyscraper canyons versus monotonous "European" style development sham. The two sides of that debate are analogous to the typical trench warfare of "left" versus "right" politics. It...

Spring Street announces inaugural board members for Infrastructure Victoria

The Victorian Government today announced the appointment of board members to Infrastructure Victoria, an agency which will be tasked with assessing Victoria's infrastructure needs in an apolitical way. The distributed media release announced Jim Miller being appointed as the inaugural Chair. Jim Miller was an Executive Director at Macquarie Capital from 1994 to 2015 and has extensive experience in the infrastructure sector. He is currently the...

Urban policy: could the Federal Government finally ‘get’ cities?

The appointment of a federal minister for cities and the built environment is a signal moment in urban policy in Australia. It is a much-needed portfolio for an overwhelmingly urban nation but will need new policy capacity if the government’s urban goals are to be realised. Australian cities are among the fastest-growing in the developed world. They face problems of poor housing affordability, growing inequality, inadequate and inefficient...

C262 clarification session with the DELWP: what I learnt

If you read the Schedule to DDO10 you probably have some questions, like many of my clients do. Most of the controls are very clear in the Schedule to DDO10. They include height, set back and plot ratio. Some are unclear and dangerously open to interpretation. On September 16 I attended an information session with the highly articulate Larry Parsons, Director of Development Approvals & Urban Design Development at the Department of...

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...

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Development & Planning

Monday, April 24, 2017 - 06:00
City of Monash planners have recommended that Singapore-backed Frasers Property Australia along with project partner Commercial & Industrial Property (CIP) be allowed to proceed with a multi-staged commercial development that would become one of suburban Melbourne's largest.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Friday, April 21, 2017 - 00:00
Richard Tomlinson , University of Melbourne In the first article reviewing The Conversation’s many articles on housing issues, the commentary about fiscal and supply-side issues was consistent. The same is not true for affordable housing due to the diversity of affordability issues.

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

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - 07:00
35 Spring Street has been anointed as one of Melbourne's elite high density residential projects. Developer Cbus Property is rightfully making note of the project's completion, with Planning Minister Richard Wynne recently officially opening the $350 million development. The project has drawn inspiration from equivalent park-front projects in New York, and holds views over Treasury Gardens that can never be built out.

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.