Planning‎ > ‎

Livability Options in Outer Suburban Melbourne

28 APRIL 2011 

Dr. Vaughn Koops,
Acting Executive Officer,
Outer Suburban Interface Services and Development Committee,
Parliament of Victoria,
Parliament House, Spring St.,
East Melbourne. Vic. 3002.           Email: osisdc@parliament.vic.gov.au 

SUBMISSION TO:

OUTER SUBURBAN INTERFACE SERVICES & DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE Inquiry into Livability Options in Outer Suburban Melbourne.   

The Nillumbik Ratepayers Association (NRA) wishes to make to following brief submission and requests to appear before the Committee to further expand on relevant matters. We refer to Nillumbik Shire. 

This is a brief summary of issues relating to your Terms of Reference:-

(a)      outline recent state planning policies as they relate to private housing;

(b)     examine population growth and impacts

(c)      collate and analyse median house prices in outer suburban areas and measure this against income and cost of living data;

(d)     identify the provision of medical/health and support services in outer suburban areas;

(e)      classify national and international ‘best practice’ in urban renewal as it relates to established outer suburbs; and

(f)      recommend options for enhanced livability of residents.  

(a)     outline recent state planning policies as they relate to private housing; 

  • Green Wedge Zone (GWZ), Rural Conservation Zone (RCZ) and Urban Growth Boundary UGB restrict development resulting in higher land prices. 
  • Limits on development in some outer suburban areas, such as Nillumbik drive private house prices upwards.

 Long term owners in particular are disadvantaged by retrospective zonings and restrictions on lot sizes for any development. (even one house per lot) 

  • Zoning changes have devalued all lots that are now under the minimum sub divisional size for a zone. 
  • The Nillumbik GWZ has cost our ratepayers around $1 million per annum since its introduction. 
  • Any boundary be it real (Port Phillip Bay) or imposed (UGB) causes upwards pressure on house and land prices within that city. 

(b)     examine population growth and impacts 

  • Because of zoning (GWZ/RCZ/UGB) growth in Nillumbik is listed as limited. 
  • These zone restrictions impact on livability as business areas in and around these suburbs cannot expand to remain viable. 
  • Residents are disadvantaged as they are forced to travel out of the Shire for many retail and other services. 
  • Employment opportunities are limited because of lack of commercial development. Nillumbik is a dormitory Shire because of these limits. 

(c)      collate and analyse median house prices in outer suburban areas and measure this against income and cost of living data; 

  • Development restrictions force median house process upwards. 
  • Zoning restrictions result in unaffordable housing for lower income and fixed income families. 

(d)   identify the provision of medical/health and support services in outer suburban areas 

  • Nillumbik is currently well served in this area with doctors, pharmacy and related services. 
  • These services are supported nearby with the Austin and Northern Hospitals; both have 24 hour emergency departments. 

(e)      classify national and international ‘best practice’ in urban renewal as it relates to established outer suburbs; and 

  • National and international best practice is to expand housing development along corridors with existing transport and utilities already in place. 
  • Nillumbik has to Hurstbridge all services 

v  Railway since 1912

v  Power grid 1950’s

v  Sewer 1980,s

v  Natural gas since 2005 

            All currently underutilized. 

  • Successive State Governments have stated that development should occur along corridors where infrastructure currently exists yet Nillumbik has been ignored. 

(f)      recommend options for enhanced livability of residents. 

  • Make Council staff and Councillors accountable and responsible for their decisions. 
  • On Black Saturday Nillumbik lost 41 residents killed and many more injured and traumatized. 
  • Nillumbik Shire was warned in 2003 in two reports by experts David Packham and Rod Incoll, endorsed by the CFA at the highest level of the fire threat to Nillumbik. 
  • Since the Black Saturday disaster and the introduction of the 10/30 right, Nillumbik Council has applied to the Minister to exempt Eltham from this right. This is despite recent warnings by Dr Kevin Tolhurst and Mr David Packham that Eltham is a high risk area. 
  • Abandon the UGB, GWZ, and RCZ. 
  • Allow development in Nillumbik where current infrastructure exists, to Hurstbridge. 
  • Expand commercial development. 
  • The majority of Nillumbik is the least threatened most abundant ecosystem in Victoria and does not need protecting. Nillumbik is also one of the most fire prone areas in the world and therefore needs to be managed. 
  • Protect sensitive and endangered ecosystems. 
  • Limit Council’s ability to impose (local laws) in particular where it may endanger life and property. Eg. Mandatory planting of locally indigenous fire flora over and around our houses. 
  • Simplify the planning scheme. 
  • Restore the right to of property owners build on a lot. 

 

Brian Murray 

Director