Skip navigation

PLANNING FOR PEOPLE – NOT PROPERTY DEVELOPERS

When I speak to people around Brunswick the thing I hear most is that apartments are going up faster than our public transport, schools and facilities can cope with.

‘For too long, big property developers with too much influence have been allowed to shape Brunswick.’

My vision for Brunswick is a greener city, with more trees, powered by renewable energy and connected through active and sustainable forms of transport like walking, cycling, and public transport. Together, we can make it happen. 

We’ll tighten the rules to make them certain for everyone, and fair for communities

Developers push any grey area in the regulatory process to maximise profit, while communities and Councils can’t keep up. Clear rules can change this, including essential points such as mandatory height limits or maximum density levels for approved areas; and minimum apartment sizes to avoid cheap shoe-boxes that reduce overall liveability in communities.

 

Melbourne is suffering from decades of poor planning.

Spreading suburbs swallow up market gardens, cars clog our city and harm our climate, and residents fight unequal battles against property developers over apartment towers in the inner city. 

Sprawling low density suburbs with large blocks make public transport inefficient and create a car-dependent lifestyle, pumping more car traffic into the city centre. So it makes sense to encourage higher density accommodation, particularly close to public transport routes.

We’ll make sure new apartments include affordable, sustainable, quality housing that meets social needs

But leaving the details to a poorly regulated property market has allowed our inner suburbs to become a theme park for property developers. As a result, Brunswick and similar suburbs contain some ugly, poorly-built apartment towers where old clothing or shoe factories once stood.

Fortunately we are also seeing some better-looking apartment blocks designed with sustainability, affordability and the needs of residents in mind. Some apartment projects in Brunswick are setting the standard for the sort of development we need in the city.

But we can’t rely on the good intentions of property developers to shape our suburb appropriately for the future.

Typically when Council objects to a development or refuses a permit, the developer gets their way at VCAT. That’s often because the state planning law doesn’t allow the Council to set its own height limits, minimum apartment sizes or sustainability standards.

At a minimum the state planning law should be fixed to give residents and developers more certainty and I have already raised some of these issues in parliament.

We also need requirements to protect trees from developers and to include a minimum amount of green space and tree cover in developments. The tree-lined walkway through the Ettaro development between Barkly St and Brunswick Rd is a good example of what can be done.

VCAT is over-used as a way of bypassing Council, so I want to see its role in planning restricted to appeals when Council may have made an error, rather than a means to get extra floors on an apartment block.

Parliament recently held an inquiry into planning but scaled it back so that it only issued an interim report recommending it be continued in the next parliament. The Greens have previously called for a Royal Commission, but any wide ranging review must be a very high priority for the next Victorian Parliament.

PLANNING FOR PEOPLE – NOT PROPERTY DEVELOPERS

TAKE ACTION

Brunswick is changing rapidly and our skyline is getting busier.

For too long, planning laws have benefited property developers and not residents. We must fix our planning laws to favour residents and not developers.

Add your voice.

SHARE:

THE LATEST NEWS

BLOG

My vision for Brunswick

A lot has changed since I was elected in 2018. But my vision for Brunswick remains one where you can easily walk to a beautiful green space, safely ride your bike to the shops, or hop onto frequent, accessible public transport - perhaps to catch a gig on Sydney Rd. ...

BLOG

Breathing new life into Melbourne Cemetery

Thousands of people pass by or through Melbourne General Cemetery every day, but we aren’t treating it as a precious inner-city open space. Much of it is very dry and degraded, with minimal vegetation, and many old graves are in disrepair. It could be much better.

BLOG

Skyrail is coming to Brunswick

It’s official: Brunswick will get a skyrail like Coburg some time in the next five years. So what can we expect? 

BLOG

The government should go further and faster on COVID

If something terrible happens on Friday night and you call an ambulance, how long will it take to arrive? That’s not normally a concern for those of us living in the inner city, but this year ambulances have too often been unable to get to serious emergencies on time. We...


MORE ISSUES