VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT SHOULD SUPPORT LOCAL RESIDENTS
The Master Builders Association of Victoria has asked the Victorian Government to create as-of-right development zones where developers would not need Council approval, and development such as dual occupancies, low-rise townhouses, apartments and other medium-density housing would be fast-tracked.
I urge the Victorian Government to reject this try-on. Residents don’t have enough say in planning issues as it is, and are being forced to live next to buildings they have objected to, and live in increasingly crowded and congested streets and neighbourhoods.
The housing shortage is a consequence of Melbourne’s rapid population growth. If the Master Builders Association really wants to see this problem resolved, they should be advocating for a return of migration to 1990s levels. Back in 1996 the Victorian Government’s Department of Infrastructure did an extensive report setting out population projections for the state for the next 25 years. They estimated that Victoria’s population would grow on average by 30,000 – 40,000 per year.
If that had been right, we wouldn’t have a housing problem, but it wasn’t right. Migration has increased rapidly over the past decade. Melbourne’s population grew by 79,000 last year – more than twice what the Department was predicting for the whole of Victoria!
The Department predicted Melbourne’s population would be 3.8 million by 2021. In fact we passed 4 million last year, over 10 years ahead of schedule!
Stopping Melbourne’s growth, not taking away residents’ rights, is the solution to the housing shortage.
KELVIN THOMSON MP
Member for Wills
Thursday 5th May, 2011