Victoria

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.

The report cites what it believes are the current deficiencies of Melbourne's present governance arrangements. These include: a cycle dictated by political terms; policy makers separated from implementation; lack of strong integration between transport and land use planning; local interests prevailing over metropolitan interests; planning and development assessment that is too focused on economic considerations at the expense of social and environmental factors; and lack of community engagement opportunities.

In response to such problems, the report proposes "a new governance structure to coordinate and integrate land use planning, infrastructure, economic and community development in a manner that promotes key objectives (sustainability, liveability and economic vitality) for our city and its relationship with the Victorian regions over the long term" (Committee for Melbourne 2010: 9).

As part of the new governance structure, the report aims for a long-term strategic plan with ongoing revision and continual monitoring and review. It promotes the integration of planning, infrastructure, economic and community development policies and coordination and alignment between policy and strategic decision-making at the different levels of government.

The vision for Melbourne comprises many aspects including Reputation, Community and People, Accessibility, Infrastructure and Technology and Economics and Exchange. The main visions being: "When Melbourne grows beyond five million people, it will remain a highly liveable city for all of us. Our city will comprise well-connected communities, where diversity is celebrated and facilitated, where cultural excellence, economic prosperity and ecological sustainability are harnessed through creativity, innovation and technology" (Committee for Melbourne 2010: 13).

Reference: Committee for Melbourne 2010, 'Melbourne Beyond 5 Million: Getting better as we get bigger', Volume One: Governance and the Melbourne proposition, June 2010, from <http://www.melbourne.org.au/>, accessed 5 June 2010.

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