Back-to-front decision-making bedevils Melbourne's city planning

Read what Kate Shaw says and see the boost that Mark O’Connor of Canberra gives to 
Why is she ignoring population as being at the root of Melbourne’s planning problems?
Kate Shaw, Furute fellow at the University of Melbourne has an article in "The Conversation" today called
Back-to-front decision-making bedevils Melbourne’s city planning

I have posted the following Comment

Kate, you forgot to mention the most obvious sense in which Melbourne's planning is back to front.  It is logically impossible to plan for an indefinitely growing population size.  This is an issue that the Planning Backlash coalition has repeatedly foregrounded. (See their website at  So why is it missing from your analysis?

Trying to design an ideal city for a number of people that keeps doubling is only slightly more impossible than designing a bus or a plane for a number of passengers that keeps going up and up.

Nor can State governments evade the issue by saying they don't control the federal government's Big Australia policy, granted that the States raise no objections -- and indeed actively cheerlead for it. Even the recent doubling in the immigration rate has brought no protest from state premiers.

As the Melbourne based MP Kelvin Thomson puts it, Premiers can't disown the federal bankrobbery when they are  driving the getaway car.

Only a decade ago the Howard government was claiming that Australia's population would peak at 25 million. Now our population is predicted, if current trends continue, to pass 100 million this century, and continue on upwards. No wonder nothing very satisfactory can be planned for Melbourne. Similarly no amenities and no parks and no reservations for other species can be reliably conserved under such conditions.

The public has repeatedly told surveyors that it thinks Australia has about enough people already. The Australian Academy of Science says we should have stopped at 23 million. The banks, developers, Property Council and Business Council want indefinite, if not infinite, growth because that boosts their profits. Until we know whether the people will prevail as in Europe, or the vested interests will prevail as in Canada, it is simply not possible to plan Melbourne's future with any precision.