First, an introduction to those who don’t know me. My name is Rachel Dapiran, and I am Acting CEO at the Victorian Planning Authority until 11 April while Stuart Moseley is on well-deserved long service leave.
2022 will be a big year of delivery for the VPA. With eight Fast Track projects now completed we have unlocked 28,000 future homes and 27,000 future jobs of a future value of $7 billion to support Victoria’s economic recovery.
We are also driving to finalise a range of other projects this year including:
- Beveridge North West
- Preston Market Precinct
- Wonthaggi North East
Preston Market Precinct
Today I can announce that the Minister for Planning has referred the VPA’s revised draft precinct structure plan for the Preston Market Precinct to the VPA Projects Standing Advisory Committee.
Find out more about the project and proposed planning controls.
Planning for our growing regions
With borders reopening and local housing demand at record levels, it is critical we provide affordable housing and lifestyle choices in different settings for Victorians.
What started as a steady drift of Melburnians moving to Victoria’s regions in the first year of the pandemic now appears to be a sustained trend. This is exacerbating a challenge that pre-dates the pandemic, the paucity of housing supply in regional centres.
The VPA is now playing a major role working with regional councils and State Government agencies to help meet demand and ensure new communities are well planned. Our focus is ensuring that regional towns have the infrastructure and strategic guidance they will need to remain liveable, affordable and sustainable for decades to come.
Some Victorian regional cities have experienced 20 per cent more housing market activity than pre-pandemic levels. The increased level of market activity has reduced available land supply in cities such as Ballarat and Geelong to less than 10 years, creating pressure on affordability.
The VPA is offering its support and expertise in structure planning to councils experiencing significant land supply pressures.
We are currently working on four pilot projects at the invitation of councils:
- Corio/Norlane Urban Renewal Project
- Waurn Ponds Station Urban Design Framework
- Greater Avalon Employment Precinct
- Bendigo Regional Employment Precinct
We are also working at a state-wide level to prepare a criteria-driven forward pipeline to deliver land supply at scale in high-growth regional areas. Our work will deliver housing and jobs in key areas aligned with transport planning and capacity.
Corio Norlane Urban Renewal Project
The VPA, the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, the City of Greater Geelong and the Department of Transport are working in partnership to identify the needs of current and future communities in the suburbs of Corio and Norlane, particularly in relation to social housing.
Waurn Ponds Station Urban Design Framework
The VPA is also partnering with the Department of Transport to transform the Waurn Ponds Station Precinct in Mount Duneed into a high-quality transit orientated development. This precinct offers significant opportunity as a greenfield setting on land predominantly owned by the State Government. Our planning is guided by the vision and objectives of the Armstrong Creek West Precinct Structure Plan (2012) and the hallmarks of the 20-minute neighbourhood.
The future precinct will help accommodate the area’s fast-growing population, driven by State Government policies that seek to maximise the benefits for the community and the economy.
Avalon Employment Precinct
The Minster for Planning has appointed the VPA as Planning Authority to lead a PSP for the Avalon Employment Precinct. Strategically located between Wyndham and Geelong, this precinct will provide significant employment opportunities for these rapidly growing municipalities. This precinct provides opportunities for Integrated Water Management (IWM) that celebrates existing wetlands and the coastline. It will also maximise strategic transport connections such as the Avalon Airport, Geelong Port and road links.
Bendigo Regional Employment Precinct
The Bendigo Regional Employment Precinct will provide much-needed industrial land for new and existing businesses looking to expand or relocate to Greater Bendigo. The VPA’s work will set up the precinct to deliver around 6,000 jobs and act as a catalyst for increased economic growth within the city. This will include the existing businesses within the Marong township.
Greater Bendigo’s population is expected to grow from around 120,000 people today to around 200,000 people by 2050, and is one of the regional centres with less than 10 years’ supply left.
We know we will only be successful if we continue to work closely and collaborate with all our partners. This includes our partners in government, councils, Traditional Owners, the development industry and the broader local communities in the precincts we plan for.
We are committed to being open to our partners, so I invite you to reach out to myself or Alix Rhodes, Regional Victoria Executive Director to discuss our exciting work program, in particular our upcoming projects in regional Victoria.