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East West Link

East-West Link shows miserable failure of planning process

Two cheers for resolving the East-West toll road project mess. The agreement reached by the Andrews Government in Victoria to pay the consortium $339 million for its bid costs and early work is unprecedented, but also honourable and transparent. It was always going to involve considerable pain on all sides, because it was created by Labor, by the Coalition and by the consortium in the first place. But what a tangled government-business ‘partnership’!

Highlights from Engineers Australia transport year in review

On Monday night, Engineers Australia held their annual Transport: year in review event at the Park Hyatt which included four panelists in front of a 100+ strong audience. Commentary was broad-based and thoroughly interesting if politics and city building piques your interest. The panelists included The Age Transport reporter Adam Carey , Grattan Institute CEO John Daley , Member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee for Plan Melbourne Professor...

The East-West Link is dead - a victory for 21st-century thinking

Labor’s state election victory in Victoria has fatally undermined Melbourne’s most controversial tunnel, the now-doomed East-West Link, with new Premier Daniel Andrews pledging to rip up the contracts for the project. His decision is a victory for anyone who values 21st-century urban thinking over the outdated car-first mentality. It’s also a financial relief, because – as the project’s back story shows – the East-West Link was always more about politics than economics.
The western portal

East West Link and the Secret Development Plans

In an eight-page, plastic-wrapped newsletter released late last week, the Linking Melbourne Authority announced amongst spin and puff that the development plans required as the final step of the planning permit had been endorsed by the Planning Minister. On any other planning permit these development plans, or ‘endorsed drawings’ as they are also known, will detail all the design modifications from the permit conditions and essentially finalize...

Transport infrastructure and electoral cycles: isn't it time to end the madness?

Transport infrastructure and electoral cycles, they go hand in hand like beer and burgers, wine and cheese and the Labor and Liberal parties. Well maybe not the last pairing but infrastructure projects are inherently the play-things of political parties when it comes to election time and with the news reports today on the ALP's shift in stance on the East-West link, the merry-go-round looks set to continue.

Atelier Red + Black and Safety Net deliver an alternative East West proposal

With the State Government's East West Link project recently achieving planning approval, the community mission to save West Parkville from destruction has further intensified. Two inner city councils have announced that they will be launching legal action in an attempt to halt the project. In addition, the City of Melbourne have agreed to investigate further options to reduce the damage to be caused by this rushed and poorly conceived project...

Fixing the Victorian Planning System in the wake of East West Link

As previously reported , Matthew Guy has used his extraordinary powers as Planning Minister to approve the East West Link permits. In doing so he has ignored the majority of recommendations put to him by the independent Assessment Committee. This project was a major test case for how well planning law functions for major infrastructure projects. Unfortunately for those wanting a rigorous, logical, evidence based and transparent process the...

Planning to Fail: East West Link (Part 2)

Continuing from yesterday's repost of part one from the Red and Black Architect blog. The suburb of West Parkville is arguably the most impacted by the East West Link reference project. The proposal put forward by the LMA involves the destruction of the Ross Straw Field, sensitive ecosystems and 55 homes to provide the ‘western portal’ to the tunnel and connection to Citylink.

Planning to Fail: East West Link (Part 1)

Last Monday the largest and most destructive planning permit in Melbourne’s recent history was granted by Planning Minister Matthew Guy. The contentious East West link toll road is now approved to cut a swathe of destruction through Melbourne’s inner north. Coinciding with the announcement was the public release of the Assessment Committee report, the outcome of the 30 day hearing into the project. The Assessment Committee’s findings contain...

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Development & Planning

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 - 06:00
Although applications for substantially tall apartment towers have eased over recent times within City of Stonnington, two current development applications across Prahran and South Yarra represent the next sling of smaller sized towers for the municipality. A 14 storey apartment building at 10-16 Cecil Place is being sought by Bensons Property Group.

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, 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, February 23, 2017 - 00:00
Melbourne now has a second vertical school campus under construction. McCorkell Constructions is in charge of the build that will deliver a new integrated educational and communal facility on the corner of Highett and Gleadell Street, Richmond. Designed by Hayball, Richmond High School as it has been labelled will be built for 650 students, and has an overall value of $43 million.

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).