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AIG forum w Hon. Matthew Guy MP and Mr. John Cicero

Edward Mahony
Article by Edward Mahony

Best Hooper Principal, John Cicero was part of Panel at the Advanced Investors Group ‘Developer
Forum’ on Tuesday evening with the leader of the Victorian State opposition party, Hon. Matthew Guy MP
and National Director of CBRE, Mark Wizel.

The forum was held to discuss the sustainable management, in particular through planning policy of
the unprecedented growth in Victoria’s population and in particular, that of Melbourne.

In responding to a question on whether red tape is restricting the management of this unprecedented
growth, Mr Cicero said that there is an urgent need to reconsider the existing planning governance
which relies upon up to 31 disparate Councils with often conflicting strategic visions to manage this
growth.

“It seems to me until and unless state government deals with the issue of leaving it to 17
disparate Councils to manage the change and growth that is occurring in Melbourne, we are
not going to get very far. So I think the cooperation between Councils is required, but it needs
to be led by state government to say to the Councils “If you’re not going to do it, we are going
to do the structure planning process, we are going to set the boundaries and we are going to
set the rules. If Melbourne is going to grow in a sustainable manner, it can’t grow because if
we are going to grow, we can’t leave it to 17 disparate Councils to manage that growth.”

On Wednesday, the Coalition released its first state election media release that the Liberal Nationals
will fast-track the completion of all metropolitan Precinct Structure Plans by 30 June 2020 and
introduce a priority post-Precinct Structure Planning dispute resolution process in the Victorian
Planning and Administrative Tribunal (‘VCAT’). These measures are said to address the issue of
affordability.

However, other announcements made by the Coalition Government including the reintroduction of the
limit of two dwellings on a lot, irrespective of its size in a Neighbourhood Residential Zone (‘NRZ’)
might be said to have a negative impact on housing affordability by restricting supply.

In relation to the CBD, Matthew Guy agreed that it would review the mandatory plot ratio control which
severely limits the development potential of many lots in the CBD. Finally, Mr Guy affirmed the
Coalitions commitment to review the Garden Area requirements.

Edward Mahony

Lawyer
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