Appendix 2: A Better Cities Area Strategy

Area Strategy — Plenty Road — Victoria

The strategy

1. The target area was in the suburbs of Melbourne. Its predominant feature was under-utilised State and Commonwealth land. It included large residential medical institutions and large public housing estates characterised by obsolete and inappropriate housing. The uses to which this government land was put were considered inappropriate and lacking integration with surrounding areas. Employment opportunities in some parts of the area were limited and there was a need to improve public transport.

The budget

2. The total budget for the Area Strategy was $149.7 million over the five-year implementation period to 1995-96, made up by:

  • Commonwealth (BCP) contribution $97.4 million

  • State contribution $52.3 million

This estimate did not include any value attributable to Commonwealth or State land and facilities made available to the strategy, nor the cost to the State of capital expenditure on other facilities in the area.


3. The objectives of the Area Strategy were:

  • to achieve reforms in institutional services for people with psychiatric and other disabilities;

  • to promote labour mobility and services accessibility by improvements in public transport;

  • to improve the utilisation of available social infrastructure in the corridor;

  • to promote urban consolidation with mixed use development and higher density housing in under-utilised land in established areas and thereby to reduce the demand at the urban fringe; and

  • to encourage development of employment opportunities close to residential areas.

4. The Area Strategy was implemented through a number of developmental projects and activities.

Redevelopment and devolution of institutional services

5. The task called for the amalgamation and consolidation of the services provided at a number of the residential institutions in the area. It included the development of methods of delivering alternative services in the community, at other locations throughout Melbourne.

Institutional land release for medium density housing

6. Land freed by institutional redevelopment and adjacent Commonwealth land no longer required was incorporated into a master plan for the area. Land is to be released for private sale and public housing construction.

Housing development

7. The strategy included redeveloping public housing units in the area and making land available for the development of private housing.

Light rail extension

8. Tram services were extended into the area ahead of residential development. This was aimed at providing better access and establishing a public transport habit among current residents. The service is also intended to support the increased area population that will follow housing development.

Technical precinct

9. The strategy also provided for the building of a technical business facility located within La Trobe University to encourage more employment in the area.

Area coordination

10. The area was the responsibility of four Local Government authorities. The strategy called for significant coordination between Commonwealth and State agencies and local government to introduce new planning approaches and methods in developing the area.

Source: ANAO 1996