April 29, 2015

Suburban Selfishness in Melbourne

Greg Vann links to this:

Melbourne 2


This month Boroondara council banned new buildings of more than three storeys in 31 shopping strips in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. Last year, Glen Eira council zoned about 80 per cent of its residential land to restrict growth in housing, while Bayside council zoned 83 per cent of its area to prohibit housing higher than two storeys.

These are just the latest steps that councils in Melbourne’s inner and middle suburbs, no doubt responding to the wishes of vocal residents, are taking to stop new homes being built in their area. The trend must stop if we are to keep Melbourne from becoming a divided city.

Debates about housing are often conducted between residents of established suburbs who are hostile to change, and experts making worthy arguments about the benefits of increasing density. But no one speaks for the real losers from restricting population growth in established suburbs – the many Melburnians with little choice but to make their home in outer suburbs that are experiencing acute growing pains. …

These changes are unlikely to please residents of established suburbs who don’t want new neighbours. But we cannot allow the future of Melbourne to be held hostage by privileged vocal minorities. For the sake of residents of outer growth suburbs, and so that our children and grandchildren can afford to live near the suburbs they love, the time for change has come.


Full column here.


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