Melbourne is becoming increasingly segregated and unequal. The outer suburbs have the largest share of people and the fastest rates of population growth, but the lowest incomes and fewer jobs and services. By contrast, the places where the richest people live have the best of everything – ten times greater access to healthcare and social support, six times greater access to education and more than triple the access to jobs. They have more public transport, more parkland and more trees (which means that in the blistering summer they don’t get as hot). Corporate developers have been given the keys to Melbourne, building new suburbs with few amenities, privatising public spaces and cramming people into ever smaller blocks and apartments. State and local planning schemes are full of preferred rather than mandatory controls, and public infrastructure is an afterthought. We need proper planning and proper investment. We need a city that works for everyone.
What we think
- Cities must be designed and retrofitted so that their inhabitants can lead comfortable, connected and fulfilling lives.
- Existing public space and community facilities must be protected from private developers and new spaces and facilities acquired and constructed.
- All residents, regardless of the suburb in which they live, must be guaranteed equal access to affordable and high-quality housing, decent jobs, public healthcare, public transport, public education at all levels and quality public infrastructure and amenities.
- Urban planning must be democratic and planning decisions must be guided by social equity and ecological sustainability.
What we'll fight for
- Mandate increases in social infrastructure – such as public transport, schools, hospitals, parks and playgrounds – for rises in population growth.
- Mandate low-cost and public housing (“inclusionary zoning”) set at least 20 percent for all developments.
- Mandate that all residential developments have minimum internal amenity and decent open space for each house or apartment.
- Mandate developer responsibility for ensuring 30 percent canopy tree coverage in growth suburbs and impose a developer levy to fund urgent planting to at least double the canopy tree coverage in western suburbs.
- Protect and preserve heritage buildings and streetscapes, including by introducing new penalties that allow for no-compensation public acquisition of land where property owners have unlawfully demolished a building or otherwise destroyed its heritage value.
- Ensure that social equity, ecological sustainability and public amenity are given primacy in local planning and public infrastructure decisions.
- Save the Preston Market. Immediately impose mandatory planning controls over the site prohibiting its demolition and any new development, purchase or compulsorily acquire the site, impose heritage protections and permanently maintain operation of the existing market on its current footprint and, through a community-led process, develop plans for upgrades or improvements that do not undermine the market’s cultural, social and heritage value.
- Guarantee long-term stable funding to Neighbourhood Houses.
- Mandate that developers bear responsibility for structural defects to properties for 30 years after building completion and seven years for non-structural defects.
- Extend the “Green Wedges” within Greater Melbourne and permanently prevent any rezoning, so as to protect crucial farmland, wetlands and native green spaces, including the restoration and expansion of native grassland reserves in the city’s west.
- Increase green space, canopy tree coverage and the number of linear parks and urban farms.