By David Passarella and Jenelle Cramer
Infrastructure Victoria has released Victoria’s Draft 30 Year Infrastructure Strategy (Strategy) for public consultation.
What is it?
It’s a strategy setting out the State’s infrastructure needs and priorities over the next 30 years. Spanning transport, health, justice and planning, it’s comprised of 134 recommendations worth around $100 billion, of which around 35% are new projects and 45% are behaviour change or supply management initiatives.
Once finalized, the Strategy will become a useful tool for developers to understand how and where the Victorian infrastructure pipeline will support development and connectivity.
While the Strategy makes numerous references to Plan Melbourne 2014, particularly for infrastructure required to improve access to employment clusters nominated by the latter, it has been released ahead of Plan Melbourne Refresh. This makes the relationship between the two unclear.
The top three recommendations as nominated by Infrastructure Victoria within the Strategy are:
- increasing densities in established areas and around activity centres to make better use of existing infrastructure;
- the introduction of a comprehensive transport pricing regime to manage network demands; and
- investment in social and affordable housing for vulnerable Victorians to increase supply.
Other key transport recommendations include:
- establishing a Fishermans Bend tram line;
- delivering new stations with rail capacity expansion on the existing Regional Rail Link corridor along the Wyndham/Werribee/Geelong section of western Melbourne;
- construction of the North East link within 10 to 15 years, and the Outer Metropolitan Ring Road within 15 to 30 years; and
- planning longer term links between the Eastern Freeway and Citylink and between Citylink and Western Ring Road.
Notable health recommendations include:
- enabling more aged care facilities to be provided in established areas by removing planning and regulatory barriers within 5 years; and
- targeting investment in public acute and sub-acute health facilities in high growth areas in outer northern, western and southeastern metropolitan Melbourne and Central Victoria over 5 to 15 years.
Many major transport infrastructure recommendations are accompanied by funding recommendations, including beneficiary charges in the form of land betterment levies if there is a substantial uplift in land values and business activity in the vicinity of new projects, and developer contributions. Developers and businesses should be aware of these potential costs as part of future site selection processes.
Public consultation is open until 31 October 2016. Submissions should be lodged at yoursay.infrastructurevictoria.com.au/30-year-strategy/.
Infrastructure Victoria will then develop a set of final recommendations for Victorian infrastructure which will be presented to Parliament in December 2016. After this, the Victorian Government will have up to 12 months to respond to the final recommendations and develop its own 5 year plan.
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