VICTORIA'S Growth Areas Authority this week released draft Growth Corridor Plans that aim to set the strategic direction for future urban development of land brought into Melbourne's Urban Growth Boundary.
The GAA said the plans, which have been placed on public display for 6 weeks, provide a strategy for the strategic and considered management and development of Melbourne's four growth corridors for the coming decades.
The plans identify areas for housing, jobs, transport, town centres, open space and key infrastructure for Melbourne's newest suburbs and explain how land brought into Melbourne's Urban Growth Boundary in 2010 will be used.
The plans for the four growth areas, the Melbourne West Growth Corridor, Melbourne North, Melbourne South East and Sunbury, will replace the 2006 Growth Area Framework Plans.
GAA CEO, Peter Seamer, said the plans were a key plank in ensuring delivery of the government's policy to release 50,000 new housing lots by March 2012.
"Melbourne will have the best planned land supply in Australia, taking pressure off inappropriate developments in existing suburbs. The release of land will also keep housing affordability in check," Mr Seamer said.
Planning Minister Matthew Guy said the draft plans provided certainty for zoning and biodiversity protection, while also ensuring Victoria's continued growth and prosperity.
"High level planning for the future is critical to the prosperity of Victoria. Appropriately, a thorough discussion and advanced planning for our State's future housing and employment needs must start now, not in 25 years when it's too late," Mr Guy said.
Committee for Melbourne welcomed the plans but said that a balance of new developments and existing suburb revitalisations are needed to adequately tackle population growth.
Committee for Melbourne CEO, Andrew MacLeod, said the draft plans demonstrate that the government is thinking strategically about Melbourne's future but added that "new developments can be a very expensive way to accommodate population growth."
Mr MacLeod said Melbourne should capitalise on infrastructure in existing suburbs and said the city can get better as it gets bigger, but only if it has a plan in place that can support medium to higher densities.
"The greater the urban sprawl, the greater the decrease in density. This is economically, environmentally and socially unsustainable," he said.
More information on the draft Growth Corridor Plans is available from the Growth Areas Authority (GAA) website at <http://www.gaa.vic.gov.au/>. The public consultation process will close on 20 December, 2011.