The year 2014 marked the fourth year in a row Melbourne has been named the world’s most livable city, but what are the ingredients of livability? I think it describes a city built with people in mind, one with robust public transport and bike paths, open green space, public art, places for commerce and entertainment, and which protects our heritage
The danger we face in Melbourne is that we will have a city built by and for property developers, where apartments are as low quality and towers as tall as engineering allows. Where the basic infrastructure for community needs is ignored, and public space is sacrificed for developer profits every time.
I am calling on the government to take several actions with immediate effect to preserve the livability of Melbourne.
The first is to immediately bring in minimum apartment standards. Without immediate standards the Fishermans Bend development and many others currently being fast-tracked by the government will go ahead using the old system, resulting in the building of yet more poorly designed apartments.
Next the government must reinstate notice and appeal rights for residents living in the CBD, remove the right of the Minister for Planning to approve developments over 25 000 square metres and remove the Melbourne City Council gerrymander, where businesses are given two votes while residents are given only one.
Importantly, the government must also ban political donations from property developers. Victoria has some of the weakest rules about political donations in the Western world and this must change. As the member for Melbourne, I am fighting to preserve what makes this city great. This government must make sure planning laws and regulations build a city for people, not for property developers.
28 May 2015
Speech to House of Assembly, Victorian Parliament