New suburbs but no roads

Whittlesea leader
7 March 2017
Katrina Hinschen and Olivia Lambert

Beveridge North West, Beveridge Central, Wollert, Donnybrook/Woodstock to open without roads or schools


THE State Government will not build schools, services, roads and public transport for new suburbs in Melbourne’s north before people move in.

Four new suburbs have been announced by the government — Beveridge North West, Beveridge Central, Wollert, and Donnybrook/Woodstock. Together they will cater for 80,000 new residents.

Victorian Government spokesman Patrick Lane said 100,000 lots, across 17 new suburbs, in Melbourne’s growth corridors would be rezoned to build new communities.

“But that doesn’t mean our new suburbs won’t take many years to develop,” Mr Lane said.

“Our meticulous planning practices are ensuring that as these suburbs develop over the next 30 years, communities will have access to the schools, services, roads and public transport that make the very cornerstone of great neighbourhoods.”

An image of the Wollert Future Urban structure from the Victorian Planning Authority.

The Government refused to name the roads that would be built and/or upgraded as part of the establishment of the new suburbs in Melbourne’s north.

The ministers for planning and roads also refused to take up residents’ invitation to commute one day, to and from the CBD from Melbourne’s northern suburbs during peak-hour traffic.

Mr Lane said new suburbs would be established across many years and suburbs would not reach capacity overnight.

He said the 100,000 lots would be released strategically across a measured timeline, not all at once.

Leader understands infrastructure and services, including roads, will be funded in part by developer levies.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne said the Government was taking action to boost land supply and cut delays in approvals to make housing more affordable.

A state government map showing where some of the new Melbourne suburbs will be.

“This is all about ensuring there is plenty of new housing coming to market to suit the varied needs of Victorian families, stay ahead of population growth and make new homes as affordable as possible,” Mr Wynne said.

University of Melbourne urban planning expert Associate Professor Alan March, said current infrastructure in the proposed new suburbs would not support young families, who would be the ones moving out to the new suburbs.

Associate Prof March said it would force the young families to travel longer distances for school, child care and other destinations.

He also said it was a false expectation the new suburbs would make housing more affordable in Melbourne and, while houses may cost less on the outer fringe of Melbourne, there would be other costs that would burden those who lived there.

“It is a shift of the costs on to the consumer. There are very great and very long commuting times and with that comes a whole range of negative impacts on health, obesity and family life,” Associate Prof March said.

“Not to mention the carbon output.

“If you live out there you need to invest in cars.”


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