Planning Minister Matthew Guy has launched the centrepiece of the Victorian Coalition Government's planning reform agenda with the second reading of a Bill to establish the new Urban Renewal Authority (URA) which will have a new focus aimed at delivering urban renewal outcomes for Victoria.
Mr Guy said the Coalition Government is delivering on its election commitments to advance urban renewal in areas such as land north of Williamstown Road, south of the West Gate Freeway in Port Melbourne (Fisherman's Bend), the remainder of the Docklands precinct and other strategic sites like Richmond railway station.
"Melbourne has a huge opportunity in delivering urban renewal projects that will benefit our city for many years to come," Mr Guy said.
"The URA will have a clear mandate to get on with the job of delivering urban change in strategic locations and will be a key part of the Victorian Coalition Government's commitments to tackle housing supply and housing affordability."
Mr Guy said the URA will also focus on regional cities as well as Melbourne, reflecting the Coalition Government's focus on regionalisation.
"The URA will have a mandate to look at opportunities in regional Victoria in places like Geelong to ensure that all renewal opportunities are realised."
Mr Guy said that a key objective of the URA is to attract private sector investment in strategic locations, which will help to progress development and accommodate population growth.
"The URA will be a self-funding authority with a requirement to manage the strategic planning for urban renewal sites across Melbourne and regional Victoria, and have an initial focus on the transition between current VicUrban projects and the URA's future activities," Mr Guy said.
The Victorian Urban Development Authority Amendment (Urban Renewal Authority Victoria) Bill 2011 will see the URA formed from the existing VicUrban staffing structure, but after proclamation it will be governed by a new board.