INFRASTRUCTURE VICTORIA STRATEGY PROVIDES A MUCH NEEDED BOOST FOR VICTORIA

The Property Council of Australia has welcomed the release of Infrastructure Victoria’s 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy which will provide an opportunity to kickstart Victoria’s economic recovery.

The strategy contains 94 recommendations by the state’s independent advisory body on infrastructure planning, with a strong focus on energy transition, land use integration, infrastructure in growing communities and regional Victoria.

The Property Council’s Victorian Executive Director Danni Hunter said: “We congratulate Infrastructure Victoria on this strategy which largely aligns with our submission to the draft strategy earlier this year.

“The Victorian economy continues to feel the impact of COVID and this strategy provides an important roadmap as we look to kickstart our economic recovery as the vaccine rates increase and we eventually start to open up again.

“We need to plan for recovery and the future development of our cities and regions. There needs to be a sharp focus by the Government on infrastructure investment and jobs to ensure Victoria continues to be an attractive place to live, work and invest.

“The pandemic has changed the way we live and work and get around, and some of these changes will stay long after the crisis has passed.  Infrastructure Victoria’s strategy will guide the discussion, debate, and policy decisions necessary to determine what the coming decades of growth will look like for Victoria’s cities, regions and communities.

“In particular we welcome the recommendations on infrastructure contributions reform and a better land use strategy which will help accelerate much needed growth to power Victoria’s economic recovery and future.”

The strategy, which considered the impact of COVID-19 from a social and economic perspective, contains several key themes, including:

  • Energy transition and efficiency including mandating home energy disclosure ratings, strengthening minimum efficiency standards, addressing underperforming Victorian Government-owned and tenanted buildings and ensuring a comprehensive gas transition
  • Integrating land use with infrastructure planning, including long term planning to enable local government and stakeholders to have greater visibility in infrastructure planning, and reinforcing the importance of appropriate buffers around the Port of Melbourne
  • Social and affordable housing, including the setting of a transparent statewide target for affordable housing delivery that goes beyond the Big Housing Build program, and includes a strong focus on social and affordable rental housing and a focus on making social housing energy efficient
  • Infrastructure contributions system reform, including creating or empowering a body to monitor infrastructure delivery in growing communities, moving to a simpler, broad-based contributions system and reforming the Open Space Contributions Scheme
  • Freight infrastructure, including a shift to moving more freight by rail and making quick progress on the development of an intermodal freight terminal

 

Ms Hunter said: “The strategy contains sensible recommendations that recognise the Government’s already large infrastructure delivery pipeline, as well as the financial constraints caused by the pandemic, ensuring a focus on using what we have in a smarter and more effective way.

“We also welcome the strategy’s strong focus on the infrastructure needs of regional Victoria, with nine regional profiles summarising the varied needs of our regions.”

The Victorian Government has twelve months to respond to the strategy and the Property Council will continue to engage with the Government on progressing a number of key recommendations.

You can view a copy of the Property Council’s submission here.

Media contact: Eric Allilomou M: 0448 291 236 E: [email protected]