Government kick-starts independent and fully funded planning authority

Tuesday, 06 May 2014

The Victorian Coalition Government today committed $62.8 million to drive a greater range of jobs and investment opportunities supporting the city’s continued livability and prosperity, Minister for Planning Matthew Guy said today.

“The Coalition Government has provided $51.6 million to the Metropolitan Planning Authority (MPA) over four years to implement Plan Melbourne,” Mr Guy said.

Plan Melbourne supports the Coalition Government’s commitment to building a stronger Victorian economy by working with development industry to create more jobs right across the State.

“This funding is an important boost for jobs and productivity, by helping the growth and development of significant employment hubs across the metropolitan area and driving the expansion of the central city.

“It will kick start the major employment clusters at Monash, Latrobe, Sunshine and Fishermans Bend, urban renewal a framework for expanding the central city and a metropolitan-wide open space strategy, to promote growth and investment, further increasing their attraction as great mixed use places for businesses, workers and new residents.

“These job centres are a fundamental principle of Plan Melbourne, our new plan for the city, and they mean more jobs and services in Melbourne’s middle and outer suburbs,” Mr Guy said.

Planning will also commence for urban renewal areas at Cremorne and Collingwood and along railway corridors from Huntingdale to Dandenong, Brunswick to Batman, and North Richmond to Victoria Park.

A further $11.2 million will be provided over four years to deliver key short term actions from Plan Melbourne including:

  • supporting Local Government delivery of major urban renewal sites;
  • a local pocket park fund; and
  • a 20-minute neighbourhood fund.

This funding will be available to the MPA and other government delivery bodies.

“Unlocking land opportunities across Victoria and expanding our central city and urban renewal areas will not only deliver more jobs, more housing and transport options, it will be a major boost for the State’s productivity and economic growth over the next 50 years,” Mr Guy said.

The funding to deliver Plan Melbourne initiatives and a more streamlined planning system will be provided through a new levy on planning permit application fees for projects worth more than $1 million.

The levy will be at a rate of $1.30 for each $1,000 of the estimated development cost. It will apply in addition to the permit application fee, which will still be paid to the local council as currently occurs.

The levy will raise an estimated $17.1 million per year and will take effect from 1 July 2015. It is estimated that approximately 6 per cent of all planning permits will be charged the levy.

Projects below $1 million in value will not be subject to the levy and designed to ensure that permit application costs remain competitive against other States, while delivering increased certainty for Victoria’s development and construction industry.

Mr Guy said that the increased costs of the levy would be more than offset by a more efficient planning system.

“Developers face millions in land holding costs every week across Victoria. A fully funded MPA will reduce overall development costs over time by bringing land to market earlier,” Mr Guy said.

“Properly funding the implementation of Plan Melbourne will ensure we maintain our globally recognised livability, while becoming Australia’s most efficient and attractive location for financial and business services, the knowledge economy, tourism attraction, freight, logistics and manufacturing.”