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In Victoria, a new Metropolitan Strategy is quietly under development. Inside government departments, committed bureaucrats are working steadily away to understand the lessons to be learnt from previous strategies such as Melbourne 2030 and its update, Melbourne @ 5 Million.
But at some point, the internal work will need to be wrapped up, the government’s direction made clear and the grand task of public engagement rolled out.
The Grattan Institute‘s Peter Mares wrote an insightful opinion piece in the Australian Financial Review following COAG’s release of its Capital City Strategic Planning Review at the beginning of April. An exerpt follows:
The flaws in our capital city planning system are obvious to all, whether it’s drivers stuck in traffic, residents of new housing estates with no public transport, council officers in urban growth corridors struggling to provide services to booming populations or developers trying to build medium-density housing in established suburbs.
Integrated land use management, transport planning, infrastructure development, job creation, environmental protection, housing policy and service delivery across different departments and different levels of government will never be easy.
Community engagement can help long-term plans survive the short-term exigencies of politics.
However we get there, Victoria’s new Metropolitan Strategy must be a long-term plan that survives the short-term immediate nature of politics.