A levy has been proposed for metropolitan property owners in one city by a leading urban planning advisor, who has criticized the sustainability of housing developments.
Professor Roz Hansen, chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee for the Metropolitan Planning Strategy, says there is little that is truly sustainable about the new developments in Melbourne's metropolitan fringe.
“The lack of job opportunities, reliable and frequent public transport and basic social infrastructure in these areas sends warning signals that such developments are unsustainable in the short and long term."
"We are building houses that are too large for small lots; where any potential for trees in the backyard has been replaced by the alfresco dining deck. It is the new version of 'suburbia', but this time round it is just 'more building’ on less land."
Professor Hansen proposed that to pay for much needed infrastructure in growing outer suburbs such as Craigieburn and Cranbourne, it was worth considering charging property owners a Melbourne metropolitan levy that was tied to specific projects.
Professor Hansen said projections over the next 40 years for Melbourne meant we will be living and working in a geographically larger metropolis – with approximately 6.4 million people forecast by the year 2050, compared to nearly 4.2 million today.
"The future is already on our doorstep: Greater Melbourne grew by 60,000 between June 2010 and June 2011 – that's the equivalent of twice the population of Preston in one year," she said.