We admit that we are not statisticians, planners, nor demographers. We’re just ordinary residents with some modicum of intelligence trying to understand the inconsistency and unexplained assumptions in so much of council’s data.

Council admits to basing its current planning on prognostications about future housing needs. They are basically working on a formula which states that roughly another 9000 net new dwellings are required by the end of 2031 which becomes an average of 600 per year – totally ignoring of course the fact that for the past 3 years at least this figure has been close to triple!

Confounding the analysis even further we find that figures over a period of 5 months are indeed very ‘flexible’ – again with no explanations proffered. Below are a couple of screen dumps from the Housing Id reports. The first one is dated as May 2017 and the second one is dated October 2017.

When comparing these two sets of figures, please consider:

  • The criteria for both sets of figures are identical (ie 2015) – so why the difference?
  • The ‘study areas’ are identical
  • Since nothing has changed in the planning scheme (ie no new amendments apart from Wynne’s VC110 and those applications coming in post VC110 are still to be decided) – why the difference?
  • If we accept 500 for Caulfield Village as now developed, then why not add in another 1000 plus as ‘development sites’ for the rest of Caulfield Village?
  • ‘outside activity centres’ would basically mean minimal change areas. Have we really had major multi unit development so that in 5 months we find Bentleigh East for example going from 78 sites down to 12?

The most questionable aspect of all the above is to be found in the differing May and October conclusions. Note that we’re told that there is capacity for 4018 dwellings as ‘infill capacity’. In May this was given as only ‘outside’ activity centres. The October version figure is identical. So what’s happened to all those potential areas outside the expanded activity centre zones? Or was the May figure already a clear sign that council intended to double the size of activity centres but without being upfront about this to residents?

More unfathomable is the claim that even with the admitted 3000 (preliminary) figures for Virginia Estate, this only reduces the ‘years of supply’ by 1 – from 37 years in May, to 36 years in October! Plus, how can the May figure tell us that there is an average of 713 dwellings per annum which equals 37 years supply and the October figure tells us that there is now an average of 709 per annum but the supply has dropped by a year? Surely if the average per year goes down, then the overall years of supply must go up not down?

To show how rubbery every single figure is, we republish an email from Newton to the Department written in July 2013 – before the zones were gazetted. The claim then was that with the new zones Glen Eira would have 87 years of supply and over 100 years once commercial was included. With the new zoning, Newton trotted out a figure of a 42000 dwelling supply. If true, does this therefore mean that since 2013 Glen Eira has experienced the equivalent of 14000 dwellings in the space of 4 years? Certainly not! So how much faith can be placed in anything that council produces? And why is council even considering 87, 37, or 36 years down the track when no government is doing this with housing!