Liveability Inquiry for Victoria
Tuesday, 25th March 2008 at 10:54 am
The Victorian Government has asked the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC) to conduct an inquiry into enhancing Victoria’s liveability, including its social and community dimensions.
VCEC normally provides the Government with independent advice on business regulation reform, and opportunities for improving Victoria’s competitive position.
However under the terms of reference of the Liveability Inquiry VCEC will go well beyond the economic, to the social, community and environmental dimensions of what makes Victoria appealing as a place to live, work and invest.
Issues under discussion include –
the efficiency and advantages of good planning and community infrastructure and the economic costs of poor urban design, sustainable urban concepts and their link with liveability elements of liveability that may differ between Melbourne and provincial Victoria and opportunities for State Government action to enhance the liveability of Victoria.
The VCEC has been conducting a series of roundtables in Melbourne and regional Victoria on issues around liveability.
A range of definitions were offered by participants and through submissions, and the subjective nature of ‘liveability’ means that the relative importance of specific aspects will vary with individuals and places.
Broadly, participants defined liveability as – encompassing the many characteristics that influence people to live in a place and is best considered in broad terms – economic, social, environmental and cultural aspects, how well a city or region ‘works’, an outcome for communities where wellbeing is defined by high levels of feeling safe combined with high levels of participation and inclusion. (VicHealth)
Another key issue for enhancing liveability which was discussed is the need to manage population changes.
In many cases this involves dealing with population growth, but in some provincial areas the problem is one of population decline.
Initial findings of a five year audit of Melbourne 2030 suggest that population growth in Melbourne has been faster, and less infill has occurred than expected. (DPCD 2007).
VCEC says there are areas where it is possible to improve liveability to the benefit of both individuals and businesses. For example, reducing congestion facilitates business logistics, but also makes it easier for people to travel for their daily activities.
Roundtables will continue till mid-March with a draft report due in early May 08.
Hearings and roundtables on the draft report are scheduled for July 08, with the final report to go to the state by 12 October 2008.