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Policy

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...

The Planning Minister Richard Wynne on Better Apartments

Walking around some of Melbourne’s best-designed apartments recently, I was struck by how much design could make a small space feel like a home. I was on the Robin Boyd Foundation’s exemplary apartment tour, showing off the best in Melbourne apartments. In Victoria, there are some exceptional examples of how clever spaces, light and ventilation can add to liveability, and how apartments built some decades ago still hold their own today. Victoria...

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Development & Planning

Monday, January 23, 2017 - 00:00
Prominent builder Hickory Group has added a third Melbourne project that will utilise the Hickory Building System (HBS). A proponent of prefabricated construction methods, Hickory Group's latest HBS-driven project will be Brisbane outfit Blue Sky Funds' 42-50 La Trobe Street.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 00:00
On 2 January 2017, it was reported that several popular eateries and bars in Footscray had been vandalised, including the perennially successful 8 Bit Burgers on Droop Street, and Up In Smoke on Hopkins Street. 8 Bit had the warm new year's welcome gift of 14 smashed windows and the words “F**k off hipster scum” spray-painted on their entrance.

Visual Melbourne

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 17:00
Melbourne’s architectural landscape is a wonderful juxtaposition of modern and Victorian architecture. Although the CBD has been peppered with many skyscrapers, its historical structures have won Melbourne the title of “Australia’s most European city”.

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Transport & Design

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 12:00
Timber mid-rise buildings are becoming the preferred choice for many stakeholders in Melbourne, due to a combination of factors, including cost-effectiveness, liveability, ease and efficiency of construction. Within the recent National Construction Code change, Deemed-To-Satisfy provisions allow mid-rise timber construction for buildings up to 25 metres “effective height” (typically, eight storeys).