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Melbourne 2030

VCAT Exposed

Protecting the Things We Value about Our Suburb - MEG supports PLANNING BACKLASH

Melbourne 2030 Timeline

1967Town and Country
Planning Board
3 possibilities for future development of Melbourne:
  1. balanced periphery growth
  2. greenbelt with large scale satellites beyond (metro cities)
  3. linear growth by corridors of metropolitan towns

1968MMBW Controlled outward growth
Satellite city development
Corridor-satellite approach

1970Bolte Government “growth corridors ”with green wedges. Professor Ledgar said of this choice
the developer tail was wagging the planning dog
Corridors were:

Werribee South (Werribee)
Derrimut (Melton)
Calder (Sunbury)
Calder (Merri)
Woodstock (Plenty)
Kinglake-Yarra (Lilydale)
Dandenongs (Berwick)
Cranbourne (Berwick)
Springvale (Frankston)

This plan did not proceed.

1979MMBW Resumed argument in favor of consolidation
1980MMBW Proposed 20 Activity Centres or District Centres
1982Cain Government The Cain Government prided itself on being pro-development:

Urban consolidation
Corridor Growth
District Centres
Strong CBD.


1984Cain Government 14 Activity Centres Proposed
1985Cain Government Dual occupancy provisions
1987Cain Government Urban consolidation first of 9 major themes
1990Kirner Government Details of growth proposal for Werribee and South-Eastern corridors.
1992Kirner Government Themes in Melbourne's drive towards consolidation of metropolitan area:

Efficient use of land and infrastructure
Liveability of the city.


1993Kennett Government Vic Code 2:

Urban Consolidation…contain the sprawl
Development within 7 kms of the CBD to be higher, denser, boundary to boundary
The code made it easier to build flats in any residential area


1994Kennett Government Amalgamation of Councils
1995Kennett Government Good Design Guide (GDG) fostered medium density. Councils subsequently ordered to designate areas where medium density housing could take place without difficulties presented by objectors. Important to build up suburban activity centres at key locations offering range of local services, contributing to sense of place and support multiple activities including shopping, entertainment and leisure.

Major efficiencies to be gained from promoting activity centres with good road and rail services.

1996Kennett Government Proposed “Urban villages”—use vacant industrial sites, old school sites and former council depots for intensive development and public transport to be favored over car usage.

8 areas listed: East Richmond, Prahran, North Geelong, Preston, East Brunswick, Sandringham, Blackburn and Bayswater.

The policy died. “The government does not fund new public infrastructure either directly or through local councils, or otherwise show any interest in turning their concept into reality. Its approach is twofold…on paper say all the right things…and on the ground, let it rip.” (p. 132)

“There still seems to be no serious attempt to develop fully planned and serviced nodes of housing and supporting facilities in outer areas. Current planning policies continue to assume that higher densities could occur with 7 kilometres of the CBD and the highest of all in the CBD itself…” (p. 134)

“…filling in round the metropolis probably overloaded more roads than it economised sewers.” (p. 145)


2001Bracks Government Introduction of ResCode to replace the largely discredited Good Design Guide. It was said of GDG that it was a slightly massaged VicCode 2 and ResCode is a slightly massaged GDG.

What the newly elected Labor Government promised—i.e. a prescriptive planning code—has never eventuated. Res Code has some standards and suggestions for developments up to, and including, 3 storeys.

2002Bracks Government Melbourne 2030: the new (old?) strategic Plan for Melbourne. Instead of the modest number of activity centres previously proposed, M2030 nominates a massive 26 Principal Activity Centres, 85 Major Activity Centres, 10 Special Activity Centres and some 900 Neighborhood Activity Centres (to be nominated by councils).

High density development is to be permitted within 400m of each of these centres.

2005Bracks Government Published (almost in secret): the Government's Guidelines for Higher Density Development. These are guidelines for 4 storey plus developments. This is a cliché-ridden statement that sets no standards. It’s a ‘let it rip’ document for developers.

Source for information to 1996:
Lewis, Miles Suburban Backlash. The Battle for the World's Most Liveable City Bloomings Books, Melbourne (1999).