Monash National Employment and Innovation Cluster
Located 20km south-east of Melbourne’s CBD, the Monash National Employment and Innovation Cluster (Monash Cluster) has Melbourne’s largest concentration of jobs outside the CBD and is well positioned to grow jobs close to where people live.
It supports approximately 75,000 jobs across a diverse range of industries and contributes over $9.4 billion to the Victorian economy each year. It is anticipated that employment numbers within the Monash Cluster have the potential to double over the next three decades.
The Monash Cluster is home to a number of nationally significant facilities and important institutions as well as a skilled local workforce. However, increased road congestion, changing business needs and the expectations of a new breed of worker demands new approaches to guiding the growth of the Cluster.
The VPA is working closely with the Cities of Greater Dandenong, Kingston and Monash, as well as Monash University, research institutions, major businesses, representative organisations and the local community to formulate an action plan. The plan embraces the future opportunities and seeks to manage challenges for the benefit of the Cluster.
The Monash Cluster draft framework plan aims to raise the profile of the cluster, implement public transport improvements, promote public realm enhancements and establish new business town centres as destinations that are home to restaurants, cafes, hotels and retail that supports key employment areas.
It is a coordinating action plan aimed at increasing employment by driving economic growth in the suburbs through coordinated public and private investment.
With the right investment, leadership from key organisations and collaboration between all stakeholders; the Monash National Employment and Innovation Cluster will continue to be a hub of innovation and high quality living for all.
National Employment and Innovation Clusters (the clusters) are areas with concentrations of businesses and institutions that provide a diversity of employment opportunities, including knowledge-based jobs.
The Victorian Government’s strategic planning document, Plan Melbourne 2017-2050, has identified seven National Employment and Innovation Clusters. The clusters are located in areas that have specialised activities typically centred on major universities and teaching hospitals. They make a significant contribution to innovation and the national economy and have the capacity to further enhance Melbourne’s competitive position within the global economy.
The preparation of a strategic framework plan for Monash National Employment and Innovation Cluster is being led by the Victorian Planning Authority. This is being undertaken in partnership with the cities of Monash, Greater Dandenong and Kingston, as well as Monash University, Monash Health, CSIRO and other key organisations and stakeholders that will influence the future employment and innovation ventures within the area.
The VPA is a statutory planning authority that reports to the Minister for Planning. The VPA plans for growth in new suburbs and retrofitting established parts of metropolitan Melbourne (in particular the clusters and strategic urban renewal sites) and regional Victoria.
The VPA works closely with councils, government agencies and the planning and development community on integrated land use and infrastructure coordination for strategically important development sites and precincts.
Our major tasks include unlocking the supply of land and facilitating housing diversity and affordability, job creation and better development of communities in new and established areas.
The VPA coordinates state agencies and has been working closely with the Greater Dandenong, Monash and Kingston councils to consider infrastructure and service needs in areas where change is needed to address future challenges such as the need for local jobs and a greater diversity of homes.
The seven clusters are geographically dispersed across Melbourne at Werribee, Sunshine, La Trobe (Bundoora/Heidelberg), Fishermans Bend, Parkville, Monash and Dandenong.
The Monash Cluster covers parts of the Monash, Kingston and Greater Dandenong municipalities. It includes business, commercial, industrial and employment areas within Clayton, Clayton South, Huntingdale, Monash University, Mulgrave, Notting Hill and Springvale.
A framework plan is a coordinating action plan that:
- Sets out the future vision for the Cluster;
- Guides sustainable growth and development over the next 30 years;
- Identifies the steps needed to manage growth;
- Defines key projects and infrastructure required to support growth; and
- Provides an improved and more certain environment for making both public and private investment decisions.
The framework plan is a high-level planning tool that will coordinate, guide and inform the preparation and consideration of more detailed local plans and planning permit applications.
A key aim of this framework plan is to create diverse, affordable, compact and well-connected communities that are rich in local jobs, transport access, services and culture.
A Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) differs from a Framework Plan as it contains more detail guiding decision making at a localised level. It covers a smaller geographic area such as an activity centre.
The purpose of preparing a PSP for urban renewal areas is to manage growth and facilitate change in an established area to leverage existing infrastructure and accommodate increasing housing demands and employment growth.
Planning for urban renewal areas is linked to intensification and planned upgrades in infrastructure (such as transport, community infrastructure and public realm) that deliver community benefits. The precinct structure plan should provide:
- Greater certainty for all stakeholders
- A framework for transition of the precinct to higher intensity of activity
- A coordinated approach to delivery of infrastructure
- Clear guidance for future land use and built form to support streamlined and timely decision making
Together with the framework planning, precinct structure planning is an important part of the State Government’s strategy to ensure proper and orderly planning of established areas.
An alternative to a structure plan is a Comprehensive Development Plan. To ensure the future development of strategic sites is undertaken in a coordinated way, the preparation of a Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) will be required prior to any land rezoning.
The CDP will address land use, built form, landscaping, transport and access, drainage and other infrastructure requirements to support the delivery of staged development. A CDP is incorporated in the Planning Scheme through the application of a Comprehensive Development Zone (CDZ). CDPs and the CDZ are most commonly applied to large or complex developments. This differs from a Precinct Structure Plan which generally applies a range of planning controls including a mix of zones and overlays.
The cluster is recognised for its specialised activities and leading education, health and research facilities and the proximity of major transport infrastructure (Cranbourne Pakenham Rail line, Monash Freeway and other major arterial roads).
While these existing strengths have helped establish the area as a cluster, they will also act as a catalyst for the still significant untapped potential of the area, while providing for future business, institutional and residential growth.
Therefore, planning for the success of the Monash Cluster will ensure it retains its regional and national significance
Melbourne’s population is booming, and it is important there are a wealth of employment opportunities in the city’s suburbs, close to where people live. Monash has the highest concentration of jobs outside of the CBD, supporting 75,000 jobs. Job numbers have the potential to increase by double the next three decades…
It is home to internationally renowned institutions and organisations including the Monash Medical Centre, Monash University, CSIRO and the Australian Synchrotron, as well as advanced manufacturing enterprises. It has huge potential for future growth.
The proposals that lead to potential changes in land use will be implemented through an amendment to the planning scheme of the relevant council. This may follow directly off the back of the framework plan, or as part of a later Precinct Structure Plan (PSP).
Works that need funding, such as streetscape improvements, open space, community facilities and transport projects, will likely be funded via a range of mechanisms, including the relevant council’s budget, development contributions and / or state government funding.
The following principles that are designed to guide planning for the cluster include:
- A diverse economy with local community participation.
- Intensified and rejuvenated employment destinations.
- An attractive, vibrant and high-quality urban environment attracting investment.
- Easily recognisable destinations and activity centres where local elements are strongly connected to the broader Cluster’s sense of place.
- Integrated transport networks that support economic growth.
- Affordable and diverse housing that are close to jobs.
- Sustainable social infrastructure and open space that meets the needs of people living, working and visiting the Cluster.
- Sustainable development with increased climate change resilience, integrated water management and resource efficiencies
The employment areas are likely to transform in order to accommodate significant growth in the number of businesses and jobs, better transport, improved open spaces, upgraded services and facilities that reflect a 21st Century business destination.
The plan will complement the work each local council is doing to ensure there is a good supply of housing close to jobs. These changes will also be supported by upgraded transport infrastructure and public realm enhancements as well as improved connectivity within and outside the Cluster.
Delivering improved transport connections is a key goal of the framework plan.
To support growth in the cluster, the following transport improvements are being investigated and/or planned:
- Removal of railway level crossings at Clayton Road and Centre Road;
- The extension of Westall Road north to the Monash Freeway, removing through-traffic and reducing congestion on parallel roads;
- Bus service improvements, such as real-time timetabling, on-road bus priority arrangements and more articulated buses, to make it easier to travel to and within the area;
- Improved walking paths and cycle lanes throughout the Cluster; and
- Improved public transport interchanges at Huntingdale, Clayton and Monash University.
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