Victorian Government releases long-awaited regional blueprint

THE Victorian Government has unveiled a $631 million plan to promote economic growth in regional and rural Victoria. The plan, released on June 15, aims to attract jobs and population, investment and opportunities in regional Victoria.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Proposed UGB expansion approved by Minister, awaiting parliamentary ratification

PLANNING Minister Justin Madden has approved the proposed expansion to Melbourne's Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) and is seeking parliamentary ratification. Mr Madden said the planning scheme amendment, VC67, defined the city's new boundary and set out the alignments for major transport initiatives such the Outer Metropolitan / E6 Transport corridor project and the Regional Rail Link.

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Committee for Melbourne launches 'Melbourne Beyond 5 Million'

THE Committee for Melbourne this month launched volume one of 'Melbourne Beyond 5 Million', the first in a series of four volumes that define the outcome of the Committee's 2010 Shaping Melbourne Taskforce.

The report says that it is inevitable that Melbourne will continue to grow and "will certainly reach more than five million" and the report seeks to address the challenges of growth. This first volume in the Shaping Melbourne Series examines the governance of Melbourne and proposes a vision for the future, while the subsequent three volumes will be released over the next few months, covering Density, Infrastructure and Community, Connectivity and Economy.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Melbourne's bike hire scheme begins

MELBOURNE'S first public bike hire scheme commenced operation this week, with the roll-out of the first ten stations and 100 bicycles in the Melbourne CBD. The scheme will cost $5.5 million over four years and the scheme is being run on behalf of the Victorian Government by RACV and US firm Alta Bicycle Share, which runs similar systems in four North American cities.

Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas was at the new bike station at Melbourne University in Parkville today with RACV General Manager for Member and Motoring Services Gordon Oakley for the early launch of the new Melbourne Bike Share system.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Box Hill tower development rejected by Victorian Government

A PROPOSED $100 million, 38-storey development for Box Hill has been rejected by the Victorian Government. The proposal, which was originally fast-tracked by Planning Minister Justin Madden in January this year, consisted of a 38-storey tower and six level basement car park with 176 serviced apartments, 232 apartments, gymnasium, food and drink premises, offices, restaurants and retail premises. It was to be located on the corner of Carrington Road and Station Street.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Melbourne City Council appeals Southbank development

MELBOURNE City Council this month announced that it will appeal the Victorian Government's recent decision to grant planning approval for a mixed-use development at 68 – 82 Southbank Boulevard in Southbank.

The development, a 62-storey building containing dwellings, offices, gymnasium, cafe, supermarket and shops was granted a permit by Planning Minister Justin Madden on 21 April of this year.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Second time lucky for GAIC: Upper House passes revised infrastructure levy

THE Victorian Parliament has passed through the Planning and Environment (Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution) Bill 2009, with the Upper House passing the legislation on Tuesday 25 May. This will allow the collection of over $2 billion for the provision of infrastructure and services in Melbourne's growth areas and paves the way for an expansion to Melbourne's Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).

Planning Minister Justin Madden said it was essential to have a plan for funding community infrastructure before considering any extension to the UGB. "We have always said that it would be irresponsible to open up new land for development without first securing the revenue to pay for the necessary infrastructure over the life of the development," Mr Madden said.

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New Melbourne City Planning Advisory Committee announced

PLANNING Minister Justin Madden today announced details of a new joint State Government and City of Melbourne committee that will assess developments larger than 25,000 square metres in Melbourne.

Mr Madden said the Central City Standing Advisory Committee would give the City of Melbourne greater involvement in major planning decisions in the CBD. "Through this joint advisory committee the Victorian Government and City of Melbourne can achieve a shared vision for shaping Melbourne through the planning decisions that are made," Mr Madden said.

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Advisory Panel to decide future of Williamstown Woollen Mills site

THE Victorian Government today announced the appointment of an independent Advisory Committee to review planning and urban design matters related to the controversial proposed redevelopment of the former Port Phillip Woollen Mills site at Nelson Place, Williamstown and land south of site, fronting Aitken Street and Kanowna Street.

The former Woollen Mills site was recently rezoned by the Minister for Planning, Justin Madden, to Residential 1 in March. The proposed development of the site consists of 412 dwellings, including 329 apartments and 84 townhouses that vary in height from three to thirteen stories. The application was not supported by Hobsons Bay City Council last December 2009. At the time of the rezoning, Mr Madden said that an independent advisory committee will be appointed to recommend planning controls to be applied to the 2.7 hectare site.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

VCAT Major Case list begins this week

LAST month, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) announced the creation of a new 'Major Case List' for planning developments worth more than $5 million, to commence on 3 May, 2010.

The new list aims to speed up decision-making of major projects in the Planning and Environment List, with an objective to decide cases within 16 weeks of applications being lodged with the Tribunal.

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Vic Govt announces GAIC agreement

THE INTRODUCTION of the controversial Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) appears likely, with the Victorian Government announcing that the Dispute Resolution Committee of Parliament has negotiated a "bipartisan way forward for funding vital infrastructure in an expanded urban growth boundary."

Mr Madden said the Dispute Resolution tabled in Parliament provides for the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) legislation to be passed with amendments agreed between the Government and the Opposition.

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New Southbank Structure Plan proposed

Melbourne City Council will next week consider a new structure plan for Southbank, with the Council calling it the "most significant overhaul" in Southbank's 30 year history.

The Draft Southbank Structure Plan 2010 will be considered at Council's Future Melbourne Committee on Tuesday 11 May. It proposes new zoning and development controls to improve street level amenity, initiatives to improve walking and cycling and the establishment of new community centres.

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New planning controls announced for Shrine of Remembrance

ON THE eve of Anzac Day, Planning Minister Justin Madden announced new height and setback controls for St Kilda Road to protect the Shrine of Remembrance.

Mr Madden said land opposite the Shrine at 312 – 332 St Kilda Road would now be the subject of a mandatory 60-metre height control and a 20-metre setback control. The Melbourne Planning Scheme has been updated to reflect the amendment, C155 (see Design and Development Overlay Schedule 58 to Clause 43.02 and Clause 66.06).

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