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Politics

Federal election aftermath: the changing face of Melbourne's (federal) electoral map

Having fun yet? Saturday's federal election has delivered a result that loosely tracks what all the polling was saying right up until July 2nd and now the waiting game - similar to the election back in 2010 - begins. The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) put out a media release on Sunday stating that counting will continue once postal and absentee votes are returned to the respective electorates. This is likely to occur on Tuesday (July 5)...

Inner Melbourne's federal electorates: development + population growth = contests aplenty

The last time the Australian Electoral Commission redistributed the electorate boundaries in Victoria was 2010. Given that the next parliament is likely to last until 2019 and inner Melbourne has had - and will continue to have - extremely strong population growth, the electoral contests that we're heading about in local and national media are likely to continue for the foreseeable future. There are many factors which influence people's votes,...

Is the Federal Government blinkered when it comes to Victoria?

Is the Federal Government blinkered when it comes to Victoria? That was the first question that came to Urban Melbourne's mind upon seeing the breakdown of allocation of infrastructure spending in Tuesday night's Federal Government budget. Among the list of projects the Federal Government will spend money on in the coming financial year, the Victorian section had a caveat: "the Australian Government remains committed to the East West Link and...

Comment: Greg Hunt's "fix list" - nothing to see here

The Federal Environment Minister - who also happens to be a Victorian Member of Parliament - released a wish-list of projects to "fix" Melbourne's congestion which unsurprisingly read like a road-lobbyists cheat sheet, complete with a mention of Melbourne Metro for balance . Greg Hunt is the member for Flinders which covers the entire Mornington Peninsula, surrounds the shoreline of Western Port and covers both Phillip and French Islands; and it...

Are the Federal ALP really the 'public transport' party?

It was a one man show on Monday night's QandA . The Federal Leader of the Opposition was answering questions from a Ballarat audience and made a curious remark that the Australian Labor Party (ALP) are the public transport party. Fumbling through a list of large-scale public transport projects around the country, Bill Shorten looked to be in the most uncomfortable position all night. A follow up question on the feel-good grandiose infrastructure...

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...

Distributing a myth: will a second river crossing solve congestion?

Since the last state election, Premier Daniel Andrews has been on a mission. While the previous state government managed to get itself stuck in a perpetual state of inertia very early on, the current Premier has been determined to be a man of action. East West Link contracts torn up? Tick. Level Crossing removals out to to tender? Tick. Melbourne Metro funding bought forward? Another tick. But then he pulled a rabbit out of the hat that left...

Comment: Transurban's Western Distributor proposal

Tollway operator Transurban has announced via a market announcement to the Australian Stock Exchange that it has won approval from the Victorian Government to proceed to stage 3 assessment under Spring Street's 'market-led proposal interim guidelines'. In a nutshell, the Transurban proposal is to widen the existing West Gate Freeway between the 'Western Gateway' (the junction of the M1 and M80 freeways) and the West Gate bridge; construct a...

Spring Street rejects Transdev bus network changes

In a media release distributed on Tuesday morning the Andrews Government has announced it will not proceed with proposals to alter the bus network which Transdev Melbourne operates. For a summary of the now rejected proposal, see this Age report from Monday. Transdev Melbourne - an operator which runs approximately 30% of Melbourne's bus network - originally sought to cut elongated routes, such as the orbital smart bus routes, and reduce...

The Andrews Government, 100 Day Report Card

In August 2014 during what turned out to be the last few months of the Napthine Liberal Government it had become very apparent that Victorian State politics had gone from being design smart to design stupid in a matter of a few of years. Within a single term of government from 2010 to 2014 we have gone from a design-intelligent and architecturally progressive State Government, to one which has marginalized those best able to advise it. The...

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Development & Planning

Friday, December 9, 2016 - 08:00
Ballarat's station precinct is set to be transformed, following last week's announcement that the Pellicano Group has been awarded the rights to develop a new conference centre and hotel facility.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, October 31, 2016 - 09:00
The New Urban Agenda was officially adopted in Quito, Ecuador in the last plenary of the Habitat III conference. The agenda provides a 20-year “roadmap” to guide sustainable urban development globally. The text of the New Urban Agenda itself was agreed well before Habitat III at the UN General Assembly in September, during an extraordinary informal negotiation session that lasted for more than 30 hours.

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

Thursday, December 8, 2016 - 12:00
Melbourne’s tram network may hold the key to providing the dense network of high frequency rapid transport that would provide world class connectivity in the inner-city and CBD. Melbourne and New York are very different cities. Drawing too close a parallel between any two cities can be a folly; however New York and Melbourne share some near similarities where it counts.

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).