Shaping the future of Melbourne

Battle lines have been drawn in the sand as planners and protest groups debate our sprawling suburbs. Marc Pallisco reports.

The
contentious Melbourne 2030 planning controls continue to divide the
community. On the one hand, some industry experts warn Melbourne could
become another overextended Los Angeles if we don’t halt the urban
spread. Meanwhile, protest groups in suburb after suburb complain of
higher-density living being foisted upon them. They claim their
neighbourhoods are in danger of losing their character.

Somewhere in between these factions may be the future Melbourne.

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Central City Boundaries Set to Expand Beyond Traditional Hoddle Grid: Melbourne’s New Planning Policy

CENTRAL Melbourne is set to expand under a new proposal by the Baillieu liberal government.

Dubbed the “Grand CBD” proposal, planning minister Matthew Guy introduced the policy last week. It aims to transform the city into a “Manhattan-style metropolis” five times its present size.

Melbourne’s tallest buildings will be permitted to rise from what are currently factories around Fishermans Bend, a pocket of Port Melbourne, south-east of the CBD, or in an area defined as E-gate, north of Docklands and between the Southern Cross and North Melbourne train station (which is actually in West Melbourne). Using a new Capital City Zone, height restrictions will be abolished.

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No Room At The Inn

Residential rental vacancy rates have averaged an all-time low of 1.9% across Australia for the past two and a half years, according to data published today in the Mortgage Choice/REIA Real Estate Market Facts report, September quarter edition.

This compares with a 20-year average of 3.6%. The industry benchmarks anything below a 3.0% vacancy rate as indicative of an undersupply of rental accommodation.

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