Despite the challenges we all face as we manage the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the VPA is committed to its job of planning great places for a growing Victoria.
Over the past few weeks, our entire team has transitioned to working remotely. We are working hard to ensure that any impacts are limited and that our commitments and deadlines are met to the best of our abilities.
We understand that for many of you, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be impacting your operations and we will extend our patience and understanding to you as we all work to manage this temporary “new normal”.
One of our top priorities at this time is to stay in touch with our partners and progress our work. We are endeavouring to reach out to each of our project stakeholders directly with an update on the relevant project. However, if you are still looking for more information about how we are managing our shared projects, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with either your contact or via the general VPA email at email@example.com.
Read on for a snapshot of our work so far in 2020 and our priorities for the coming months.
New Minister for Priority Precincts
The Victorian Planning Authority warmly congratulates the Hon. Jacinta Allan, Member for Bendigo East on her appointment as Minister for Priority Precincts. As a Minister with jurisdiction for directing our work program at the VPA, we are looking forward to working together to plan for vibrant precincts in Arden, Sunshine and along the Suburban Rail Loop, among many others.
We have now transitioned to our new business environment and coronavirus (COVID-19) is not slowing us down. We continue to deliver on our strategic priorities and our Business Plan 2019-2020.
In addition to working remotely, our team is adapting to new ways of engaging our stakeholders and precinct communities remotely and adopting new tools and processes to ensure our work can continue (see some of the successful examples of this in action outlined below).
Delivering our Business Plan under these circumstances requires adaptability and innovation, and the VPA is stepping up to that challenge.
The Victorian Government is managing one of the most significant economic disruptions in living memory. Beyond managing the immediate economic impact, the government is also considering how to stimulate the Victorian economy once the crisis is over.
Our reputation for delivery and speeding up land supply for jobs and homes puts the VPA in a unique position to help stimulate the Victorian economy in a post-coronavirus (COVID-19) world.
In the coming months, our focus will be on continuing to support Victoria’s economy by accelerating and prioritising delivery of leading-quality plans for designated growth areas wherever possible – plans that enable the development of prosperous, sustainable and liveable communities.
Infrastructure Contribution Plans on Exhibition
In the Metropolitan Greenfield Growth Areas, we are continuing work to finalise the 100,000 lot ICPs where interim ICPs are already in place.
On 3 April, two significant Infrastructure Contribution Plans were released for exhibition:
- Sunbury South & Lancefield Road ICP
- Beveridge Central ICP
These plans are critical in ensuring Melbourne’s greenfields have the infrastructure and amenities needed to support vibrant new communities. While we have had to adapt our exhibition process to accommodate our new circumstances, we are proud to be able to continue delivering for Melbourne’s growth areas.
Bannockburn Growth Plan Engagement
In March, the VPA and Golden Plains Shire Council engaged the Bannockburn community on the issues and opportunities facing the growing regional centre.
Engagement on this project began before the Victorian Government declared a State of Emergency, and continued as Victoria transitioned through stage one, two and three lockdowns.
Despite the challenging and evolving circumstances under which the engagement took place, we received an unprecedented level of community participation. Hundreds of Bannockburn community members had their say, many of whom engaged with us online.
The VPA is now compiling the community’s submissions and will use these to inform the development of the Bannockburn Growth Plan.
Parwan Station Virtual Pitching Session
Pitching sessions are an integral part of the VPA’s process for planning great places. They allow developers and landowners to pitch their vision for new precincts to government agencies, council and the VPA.
In March, the VPA hosted our first ever virtual pitching session. Bringing together 16 attendees, we facilitated developers and landowners to remotely share their vision for Parwan Station with representatives from the VPA, Moorabool Shire Council and Victorian Government agencies.
This virtual pitching session is an early example of how we are adapting our planning process to our new working environment. While there is room to improve this practice, this first virtual pitching session was a success and we are continuing the work with Moorabool Shire Council to develop the Parwan Station Precinct Structure Plan and Infrastructure Contribution Plan.
Officer Town Centre Gazettal
Since 2017 the VPA has been working with Cardinia Shire Council to review the Officer Precinct Structure Plan. As a major town centre for Melbourne’s South East Growth Corridor, the review was focused on supporting private investment to deliver additional services and facilities required by the growing community.
In March, the Minister for Planning approved and gazetted our amendment to the Cardinia Planning Scheme, paving the way for new investment and economic activity in Melbourne’s South East.
Caulfield Station Key Ideas
In November 2019, the VPA and Glen Eira City Council engaged the community on their priorities for the future of the Caulfield Station Precinct. In March, we released the outcomes of this engagement in our Key Ideas Community Engagement Report.
The report documents the excellent response we received from the community, which will help us plan for a vibrant new precinct around Caulfield Station.
Thank you to all our partners who are supporting our significant pipeline of work under these evolving circumstances.
As Victoria works through the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, we’re committed to supporting the recovery of the Victorian economy and continuing our work managing the challenges of a growing Victoria in 2020.
If you have any questions, comments or ideas that you think we should know about, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.