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02 Dec 2020

Infrastructure Victoria Release Draft 30 Year Strategy

Infrastructure Victoria Release Draft 30 Year Strategy

Infrastructure Victoria has released their draft 30-year strategy. This outlines outlining the need for continuous adaptability and makes 95 draft recommendations to the state Government. The public have been asked to have their say on the updated draft strategy through a public consultation

Infrastructure Victoria Chief Executive, Michel Masson, has stated that Victoria can recover from the shocks of 2020 and meet any future challenges by planning for change and doing things differently. He went on to say,

“Throughout 2020, Victorians have demonstrated we are adaptable, resilient and prepared to make big changes when needed. In the decades ahead, we will need to maintain that spirit in the face of technological disruption, climate change, lower population growth and unexpected challenges. The infrastructure we plan now must provide for a net zero-emissions economy by 2050, support the transition to a circular, zero-waste economy and deliver innovative solutions to drive trade and investment in agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and other key industries,” Mr Masson said.

Regarding the recent Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Masson added, “The COVID crisis has created a seismic shift in how Victorians live and work. Now is the time to harness the positive changes we’ve seen and facilitate a transition to a better new normal. Our draft 30-year strategy shows how integrated infrastructure planning combined with strategic investment can support positive change. For example, greater uptake of zero-emissions vehicles, more cycling and walking for transport, and increased use of renewable energy will not only reduce pollution but provide many public benefits. Infrastructure can also help tackle disadvantages, especially in outer metropolitan and regional areas, by providing better public transport options and improved access to services.”

The draft strategy recommends changes to improve the energy performance of housing, including requiring all new homes to achieve a minimum 7.0 NatHERS rating by 2022, and a mandatory energy rating scheme allowing potential buyers or renters the chance to choose a lower cost, more efficient new home. On this Mr Masson stated,

“Energy efficiency improvements help lower bills, make homes more comfortable in extreme weather and can increase the value of homes by up to ten per cent. We’ve seen throughout the pandemic how much local communities value green open space. Tree canopies and vegetation are ‘no regrets’ investments that help cool urban environments, provide shade and cooling, support biodiversity and improve human health. Victoria’s regional economies have been hit hard by drought, bushfire and the coronavirus pandemic,” Mr Masson said. The right infrastructure can build on each region’s inherent advantages to drive future economic growth.”

“We welcome the Victorian Government’s recent and significant investments in social housing, energy efficiency and regional tourism infrastructure which we have consistently argued deliver substantial social and economic benefits. We are also very pleased to see the government recently announced a trial from February of cheaper, off-peak fares for public transport travellers, which our evidence shows will help get people back on public transport and reduce congestion. Our draft strategy takes it a step further, recommending off-peak fares become a permanent fixture in Melbourne, in addition to offering cheaper fares for trams and buses at all times. By taking an integrated view, our draft strategy puts the health, wellbeing and prosperity of all Victorians at the centre of infrastructure planning – which is why it’s so important all Victorians can have their say.

“This is a chance for every Victorian to get involved and help determine the infrastructure recommendations to be included in the final strategy.”

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