Committee Communiqué

Excellent response to IV’s 30-year strategy

Hundreds of responses from government, private sector stakeholders and the broader community have been submitted to Infrastructure Victoria’s (IV) consultation report Laying the Foundations. These formal submissions, comments and survey responses have been used to help define Victoria’s 30-year strategy’s draft objectives. Michel Masson, CEO Infrastructure Victoria, stated that the overwhelmingly positive response indicated support for “…a long-term, state-wide and cross-sector approach to infrastructure planning”. Many of the ideas and suggestions in the Committee’s recent submission response to IV’s Laying the Foundations paper, consultation report and technical reports have been adopted in the We hear you response document. The next phase will see the release of a discussion paper All things Considered that puts forward over 200 ideas. Early reports indicate that IV has been true to its independent mandate by listing a series of infrastructure projects, not all of which have attracted bipartisan political support, as worthy of consideration to meet Victoria’s infrastructure needs. The Committee will organise the second submission workshop shortly – to be announced soon.

Transport Series Part II: Public Transport

The second event of the Committee’s Transport Series about Melbourne’s transport issues was held on 11 May at Public Transport Victoria. The Moderator, Jeroen Weimar, Acting CEO, set the scene by stating that the biggest challenge for Melbourne is to provide efficient public transport infrastructure that integrates bus, tram and train systems to meet the needs of Melbourne’s growing numbers of commuters and increasing urban sprawl. The panelists – Nicolas  Gindt, CEO Yarra Trams, Andrew Lezala, CEO Metro Trains and Harry Wijers, Managing Director Transdev Melbourne – all stressed how the increasing impact of growth and the huge volume of people will challenge public transport’s capacities. There is an urgent need for collaboration between planners, developers and deliverers to implement a bigger vision for Melbourne’s transport systems to accommodate increasing growth and housing developments. The Committee will collate the outcomes of the Transport Series events to develop an integrated transport vision for Melbourne. The first event, Transport Series Part I: Roads, occurred in February. Transport Series Part III: Cyclists and Pedestrians will take place in July with additional sessions, including on the role of technology, to follow.

Future Melbourne 2026

The ten-year strategic plan, Future Melbourne 2026, is in the process of being refreshed using ideas generated from a series of workshops, seminars and forums held in February and March in which the Committee participated. Melbourne’s citizens were invited to participate and share their views about the economy, urban growth and density, roles of citizens and government, climate change and digital technologies. Appointed by the City of Melbourne, six ambassadors, including Professor Glyn Davis, Vice Chancellor at the University of Melbourne and Chair of the group, are leading this work to ensure that Future Melbourne 2026 reflects the community’s aspirations and priorities for Melbourne’s future. Deliberation of the community’s ideas is occurring in May and June. A final plan will be presented to Council in August. This topic is of immense interest to the Committee as we will be looking at Melbourne’s economic future as a key agenda item this year.

Commuter ferry for Melbourne

Imagine traveling to work by ferry; it’s less stressful, not crowded and comes with scenic views of the city and surrounds from the water. Port Phillip Ferries has made this possible with the commencement of an eight-week trial of a catamaran to and from Werribee South to Docklands two or three times per day. This exciting new initiative by former Essendon Chairman Paul Little and his company, Little Group, offers commuters an alternative to travelling by car or train. It is anticipated that by the end of the trial all of the 400 seats will be taken. If successful, the service could be expanded to other parts of the CBD. The Committee is interested in alternative modes of transport that relieve road congestion as part of its focus on improving Melbourne’s infrastructure and celebrating Melbourne as a beautiful and liveable city. 

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