Committee Communiqué

AirRail Melbourne bid to accelerate the delivery of an airport rail link

'AirRail Melbourne', a consortium consisting of Committee for Melbourne members IFM Investors and Melbourne Airport, has developed a proposal to accelerate the delivery of a world-class airport rail link.
The proposal includes the construction of a seven-kilometre underground railway which would connect Melbourne Airport and the CBD in 20 minutes.
The consortium would commit $5 billion to the project; matching the $5 billion commitments made by the Victorian and Commonwealth governments.

The Committee, which has been advocating for a mass transit link to Melbourne Airport since 2010, believes this announcement signals that the proposed construction of a mass transit link to Melbourne Airport is gathering further momentum.

This proposal warrants consideration from the State and Federal governments. It certainly ticks the boxes by offering commuters a world-class, fast, reliable, and reasonably priced service to unlock broader benefits for Melbourne and Victoria.

The Committee welcomes proposals which will deliver a:

  • fast and reliable service via Sunshine
  • 20 minute journey (or less) from the airport to the CBD
  • service which does not form part of the current commuter train system.

We also encourage the State and Federal governments to consider the wider strategic implications when analysing the various proposals.

There is real opportunity to not only unlock the state’s west, but to activate Australia’s east coast through linkage with a future high speed rail line connecting Melbourne, Sydney, and beyond.

Build-to-Rent: helping solve our housing issues?

On Thursday 27 September, the Victorian State Government announced its support for Build-to-Rent (BTR) in Victoria.

The key measures introduced are outlined in a special gazette release and include:

  • Extra 1.5% absentee owner land tax which may be waived, at the Minister’s discretion, during development stage
  • Foreign Purchaser Additional Duty (FPAD) which may be waived, at the Minister’s discretion, if the company is an Australian-based subsidiary of a foreign owned entity
  • Fast tracking of applications under section 173
  • Ministerial intervention for a period of one year on BTR projects

Committee for Melbourne welcomes Treasurer Tim Pallas’ interest in the Build-to-Rent agenda as a potential mechanism to increase appropriate housing stock, but recognises much needs to be done at a both a State and Federal government level to encourage activity.

We will be surveying our members and facilitating forums in the coming months to get your opinions on the changes and our Housing Mix Taskforce Steering Committee will meet in early December to discuss.

JLL recognises Melbourne's growing pains

Committee for Melbourne member JLL has recently released its report, Growing Melbourne: Implications and priorities for liveability.

The report begins by acknowledging Melbourne’s past successes which include two Committee for Melbourne initiatives:
The removal of 50 of our most dangerous level crossings as proposed in our Melbourne Beyond 5 Million report 
The introduction of the Free Tram Zone in the CBD to increase the use of public transport in the heart of the CBD as proposed by our Future Focus Group
JLL’s report recognises medium to large cities, such as Melbourne, will struggle to score highly in The Economist Intelligence Unit's liveability index. 

Image: JLL 

The report delves into areas where Melbourne can continue to improve liveability notwithstanding rankings, which accord with a number of the Committee’s priorities: 

  • Commercialisation of knowledge is highlighted in the report as important to Melbourne’s economy. We have recognised the need to translate ideas into commercial prospects and are currently working with BioMelbourne Network to find a response to the issue in the biotechnology space.
  • Creation of affordable housing will be imperative according to the report, an issue being discussed by the Housing Mix Taskforce.
  • Further development of arts and associated amenities as an integral foundation of Melbourne's liveability, a topic at the core of the work the Arts and Culture roundtable is undertaking. 

These are some of the many issues in the report, which makes worthwhile reading.

We look forward to working with JLL and our other members to help shape Melbourne’s future and encourage all members to share reports and material to keep the Secretariat and members up-to-date with their latest work.

It's happening Victoria, Deloitte report released

On 20 September, Committee for Melbourne attended a thought-provoking debate on the future of Melbourne and Victoria hosted by Deloitte Managing Partner, Jeremy Cooper and his team. 

The debate was facilitated by respected economist and current Dean of Melbourne Business School, Ian Harper, who was joined by Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Cr Sally Capp, and Mayor of the City of Greater Bendigo, Cr Margaret O’Rourke,

Photo: Deloitte 

The challenge of how to accommodate our growing population and economy in both Greater Melbourne and our regions made for a lively discussion. 

As Melbourne has now passed a population of five million – adding one million in the last ten years – we now must also face the additional challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

What was clear from the research presented by Deloitte was that the challenge ahead is real but the opportunity is there for the taking, if we collaborate. 

The discussion focused on strategic planning and addressing the short-term ‘Not In My Backyard' (NIMBY) premise that must be contested. 

The Deloitte report has identified four key aspects that can help Victoria re-position where and how to grow, and is also excellent reading. 

The Asian Executive 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival Charity Ball

This year Guide Dogs Victoria (GDV) has been appointed as the official charity partner for The Asian Executive Melbourne Cup Gala Ball on 2 November at the Palladium at Crown.

This high-profile event kicks off the Spring Racing Carnival and provides an opportunity to network with Melbourne’s elite business community. All proceeds from the event’s fundraising activities will be used to help GDV breed and train more Guide Dogs. 

As part of this charity partnership, GDV are delighted to offer their network an exclusive discounted rate for tables of 10 and 12 guests for this event. 

In addition to demonstrating your support for GDV, this incredible event will give you the opportunity to provide corporate hospitality and enjoy first class entertainment in a prestigious environment. 

Bookings can be made directly online HERE.

Enter 'GDV2018' when prompted to ‘enter promotional code’ to apply the discounted rates (valid until 15 October). 

As we celebrate #WorldSightDay, thank you for your part in supporting the life changing work GDV does for thousands of people living with low vision or blindness.

What's on our radar

Reconsidering the need to drive - this insightful and entertaining blog from Committee member, Deloitte, articulates just how much we Melburnians love our cars. Supported by some sobering facts and figures, it outlines not only how reliant we are on the motor vehicle, but more importantly, why it is critical we begin to truly embrace public transport as our preferred mode of transport – and it’s not just for financial reasons!   

Reclaiming our liveability crown - in August, Melbourne lost its 'Most Liveable City' crown and while it is not the end of the world, it is a great reminder about not being complacent. This article from the Property Council of Australia outlines how our politicians can look to secure Victoria’s liveability and prosperity, and why thinking long-term is critical.

The good news is...

UK's First Air Filtering Bus Launches In Southampton - This bus doesn’t just take you to where you need to go – it also cleans the air you breathe. The Go-Ahead Group, which is one of the largest bus and rail operators in England, has just launched a bus that sucks up pollution as it travels. The bus which will clean the air on its route in Southampton is fitted with an air filter that collects ultra-fine pollution particles and spews out purified air at the front of the vehicle. 

Our vision for Melbourne:

Global city of choice for people and organisations, due to its distinct blend of prosperity, opportunity and liveability.