Planning for a post-COVID world
|As we emerge from lock down the medium- and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on the growth of our cities and towns remain difficult to predict.|
We anticipate a downshift in population growth for at least two years and maybe longer. That said, Victoria’s growth outlook remains strong, reinforcing the importance of the VPA’s vital work in unlocking land for development across Victoria.
We also know that land and housing markets will be impacted differently depending on product segment and location. CoreLogic analysis has property prices across Melbourne down by 4% since the start of the pandemic, while regional property prices have remained steady with growing demand as many people seek to relocate to peri-urban settings.
Greenfields Melbourne has proven resilient with 3,270 land sales in the September Quarter – an improvement on the previous year. Again, this may point to homebuyers’ desire for more space and the impact of the shift towards working from home.
The impact on demand for mid-rise density close to suburban amenity remains hard to predict in the short-term, but we expect as the recovery strengthens and a vaccine becomes available this housing type will remain in demand.
The impact on employment land is also hard to anticipate. We are optimistic about the outlook, with potential for enhanced regional and suburban employment hubs and a ‘renaissance’ of local manufacturing in segments such as health and medical research.
We’re working with some of Australia’s best policy, planning and economic minds to understand what this means for our economic stimulus role and the plans we are preparing for designated growth areas across Victoria.
In the meantime, we are doubling down on delivery and working to ensure that our plans get the fundamentals right and keep the options open.
We have released the draft Guidelines for Precinct Structure Planning in Melbourne’s Greenfields for industry consultation
Current and upcoming community consultations
Despite the challenges of this year, the VPA has continued to deliver robust and accessible consultation processes with its stakeholders and communities. Several exciting projects are currently open for feedback or will be commencing public consultation in the coming weeks.
Guidelines for Precinct Structure Planning in Melbourne’s Greenfields
The VPA’s updated PSP Guidelines were released in September for industry comment. Our team has been busy facilitating stakeholder interviews, briefings and workshops to hear from our industry colleagues about the proposed outcomes of the updated Guidelines. This consultation process is open until 11 November, so there is still time to get involved.
Find out more and have your say on the VPA website or contact Filipina Moore, Director – Infrastructure, Strategy and Planning via Filipina.Moore@vpa.vic.gov.au.
We are excited that many of the projects under our Fast Track Program are now on consultation.
PMP Printing Strategic Site (Fast Track project)
The PMP Printing Comprehensive Development Plan and associated draft planning scheme amendment was also released for public comment in September and submissions can be made until Thursday 29 October. The VPA is excited to be working with the Clayton community again following two earlier rounds of consultation on this project.
Find out more on the VPA website or contact Alexandrea Malishev, Strategic Planning Manager via Alexandrea.Malishev@vpa.vic.gov.au.
Bannockburn Growth Plan (Fast Track project)
Looking to the regions, on Monday the Bannockburn community was invited to learn more about the Bannockburn Growth Plan and associated draft planning scheme amendment. This consultation process will run for six weeks.
Find out more on the VPA website or contact Emily Killin, Senior Strategic Planner via Emily.Killin@vpa.vic.gov.au.
Wonthaggi North East Precinct Structure Plan (Fast Track project)
Further into November, the Wonthaggi North East Precinct Structure Plan and associated draft planning scheme amendment will be made available for feedback. We look forward to hearing from Bass Coast community members and businesses on this proposed plan.
Find out more on the VPA website or contact John Petrakos, Strategic Planning Manager via John.Petrakos@vpa.vic.gov.au.
More consultation on the way
In Melbourne, the structure plans and draft planning scheme amendments for Craigieburn West and Lilydale Quarry (Fast Track projects) are targeted for public consultation in mid-November.
Find out more about Craigieburn West on the VPA website or contact James Paull, Senior Strategic Planner via James.Paull@vpa.vic.gov.au.
Find out more about Lilydale Quarry on the VPA website or contact Lucy Botta, Strategic Planning Manager via Lucy.Botta@vpa.vic.gov.au.
More information on each of these consultation processes will be available on Engage Victoria once consultation opens.
Donnybrook Woodstock ICP now approved
|The VPA is pleased to announce the recent approval of the final Donnybrook-Woodstock Infrastructure Contributions Plan (Amendment GC102) by the Minister for Planning. This Amendment will incorporate the ICP into the Mitchell Shire and Whittlesea Planning Schemes. Importantly, this now finalises the infrastructure contributions regime to ensure that funding can be raised for the transport and community infrastructure needs of these new communities.|
Minor updates have been made to the Donnybrook-Woodstock Precinct Structure Plan under Amendment GC156 to align this work with the ICP. Both amendments are now awaiting gazettal.
Find out more on the VPA website or contact Hugh Stanford, Senior Strategic Planner via Hugh.Stanford@vpa.vic.gov.au.
VPA Corporate Portfolio Realignment
|We have recently announced a realignment of our corporate teams to help us strengthen our focus on people, performance and strategy to boost our efficiency and project delivery performance as an organisation and trial new models of service delivery.|
We are excited to announce the formation of two new groups within our organisation and a new executive lead for our growth corridor work in Melbourne:
People and Performance
Dean Rochfort (Acting) leads this new group, which will focus on driving performance in the VPA’s planning and strategic projects by supporting our people, leveraging our streamlining program, driving new models of project delivery and management, and building our analytical capacity to support project delivery.
Infrastructure, Strategy and Planning (ISP)
Rachel Dapiran leads a new ISP group focussing on shaping our infrastructure role (including advice, new models of infrastructure funding, coordination and sequencing), driving our fast track program, including the statutory processes and instruments that implement our work program, communicating key messages and engaging with our partners.
Tess Pickering has returned from parental leave to take up the role of Executive Director – Outer Melbourne, continuing this team’s great work in Melbourne’s greenfields with a particular emphasis on delivering both PSP 2.o and our new PSP Guidelines.
Alix Rhodes will continue driving our regional project work as Executive Director – Regional Victoria, Peter Sagar as Executive Director – Melbourne Renewal Precincts and Ed Small as Board Secretary, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director – Corporate Services.
See the new leadership team composition and organisation structure on the VPA website.
What will we do differently in the post-COVID world?
|We are starting to tackle the big questions that will be vital in negotiating the medium- and longer-term scenarios for planning.|
The unprecedented change driven by the COVID-19 pandemic will have far-reaching consequences for Victorians and where they live and work. As we work through the future impacts and opportunities, the VPA is undertaking a strategic review to assess this on development and urban growth areas across Victoria, and to ensure that we consider the implications for each of our projects.
We will work to the following principles: Don’t slow down – keep planning for the future to support the economic recovery of Victoria Get the fundamentals right – create plans for future communities that build 20-minute neighbourhoods with appropriate infrastructure and facilities Keep the options open – develop plans that are flexible and able to support innovation and change in a fast-changing environment We are keen to tap into all the great thinking being done by our partners and stakeholders – we know that many of you are grappling with what COVID means for your businesses, communities and places, and we would love to hear what you are learning and what you are trialling.
If you have good ideas to share, please contact Filipina Moore, Director – Infrastructure, Strategy and Planning via Filipina.Moore@vpa.vic.gov.au.
COVID-inspired innovation: Rolling out the new PSP 2.o process
|The VPA has moved quickly to adapt to the new COVID-19 operating environment for the delivery of our projects. Many of the new ways of engaging and working with our stakeholders have demonstrated very positive results that we are keen to retain post-COVID. Stakeholders have welcomed the speed at which the VPA has adapted and the ongoing focus on delivery for our key projects.|
These innovative approaches have come at a crucial time with the roll out of the VPA’s new PSP 2.o process, which hinges on early and ongoing collaboration with agencies and stakeholders.
Online collaboration has been a hit!
The VPA recently facilitated multi-faceted online co-design workshops on both the Wallan South and Wallan East place-based plans. We had a particularly great response to the Wallan East workshop and its innovative use of pre-recorded materials and interactive online activities. We look forward to continuing to use these innovative tools to collaborate with partners and agencies.
The learnings from these activities have shown that for some online activities, the depth and detail of feedback and the ease with which it is captured could be superior to regular face to face activities. Future events will focus on using interactive activities on online video calls and using other tools such as video clips or fact sheets to inform participants prior to the event to focus and capture their valuable contributions to projects.
The Beveridge North West PSP Planning Panel hearing was held via Zoom from 20 July – 13 August. The new online panel process has introduced a number of new efficiencies compared to the in-person hearings pre-COVID.
VPA staff were able to respond to queries in real time. Our experts watched relevant sections of the hearing, raised issues and answered questions raised by the panel, other experts or legal representatives. Staff from relevant agencies such as the Department of Transport and Melbourne Water were able to do the same.
With Victoria now taking optimistic steps towards a “COVID-normal”, we look forward to bringing the learnings of our new remote ways of working with us into the future. Holding onto these new efficiencies will be imperative as we work hard to deliver our ambitious work program to assist Victoria’s economic recovery.
If you have any questions, comments or ideas that you think we should know about, please reach out to us at email@example.com.