The pro-development focus and lack of transparency & accountability of the final version of Plan Melbourne (May 2014) shouldn’t be under-estimated.
Under Direction 7.5: “Monitor Progress and Outcomes”, a number of important performance indicators previously included in the draft version have been left out of the final document. These were all vital parameters in measuring how well Plan Melbourne might achieve its goals. These missing Performance Measures include:
– proximity to public transport,
– travel time variability and delay,
– air quality,
– protection of landfill distances,
– community participation.
Under Direction 7.1 “Drive delivery and facilitate action”, further reforms target the State Planning Policy Framework, municipal strategic statements and even overlays and particular provisions. As Direction 7.1 concludes, “Central to these further reforms will be the development of a change program shifting the focus of planners from a regulatory mindset under the current system to a facilitative mindset that encourages development consistent with the directions of Plan Melbourne and Regional Growth Plans”.
In other words, pretty much an overhaul of the entire planning regime, all without any participatory community consultation or independent public debate.
A detailed comparison of the final Plan Melbourne strategy with the draft version will be available shortly on the SOS website
As to the increasing concern about the state’s population growth, recent surveys show that the majority of people don’t want continuing population increase – it exacerbates the shortfall in infrastructure and worsens individual standards of living (as pointed out by the Kohler Report on the ABC in March).
With increasing political pressure to reduce skilled migration rates to help reduce unemployment (especially youth unemployment) and growing international pressure to act on greenhouse emissions, a high population growth rate of 2%pa is very unlikely to continue for the next 20 years or more. Yet this continual growth spiral is the driving assumption that Plan Melbourne is built on.
* For background on the economic effects of lax administration of high immigration levels, see: