Council presumably pays big bucks for its expert consultants. Residents should therefore expect a lot more than what is ultimately produced. Featured below is an extract from page 30 of the recently released ‘economic analysis’. Putting it bluntly, we do not know whether to laugh or cry at the arguments presented and the assumptions inherent throughout.

THE ASSUMPTIONS

  • a given amount of office space in one location will equate in agglomeration benefits to the same amount of office space at a different location. And let’s not worry about car parking provisions which are far less for office space, etc.
  • The largest assumption of course is that companies will decide to rehouse to Glen Eira. In a March 2017 article written by the paper’s economic editor, the reverse was found to be the case – that companies are drawn to the CBD rather than the suburbs or regional centres. See: http://www.smh.com.au/victoria/melbourne-booms-while-the-rest-of-victoria-wilts-and-itll-only-get-worse-20170307-guslcg.html

Thus we have a 58 page document that is basically endorsing council’s proposals rather than objectively analysing and backing up its recommendations with sound data. A couple of other paragraphs from this report provide the overall tone and we believe, intent.

While there would be expected to be strong demand for office suites from various small businesses, the capacity for office development within activity centres is limited by developer‘s preference for apartment development. Council has the opportunity to facilitate office development on its car park sites through either planning controls or conditions placed on the sale of these sites.

There is the opportunity for Council to play a leading role in facilitating the development of new office space through its ownership of a number of car park sites within the Bentleigh, Carnegie and Elsternwick activity centres. This may take the form of either office suites or co-working spaces. Additional opportunities also exist within Commercial 2 zoned precincts on the Nepean Highway in Elsternwick and Moorabbin

Council‘s ownership of the two car park sites provides the opportunity to influence the scale of development and size of individual apartments in order to meet the needs of downsizers and families.