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BRAG: The Race for Growth
Picture of Jack Roach
The Race for Growth
by Jack Roach - Tuesday, 5 August 2008, 05:01 PM

"It's time for Melbourne to take a breather in the race for growth" says Professor Bob Birrell, Director of the Centre for Population & Urban Research at Monash University.

The recent press coverage on Premier John Brumby's admission that Melbourne is growing too fast is a bit of a switch considering that his government has been placing a lot of effort in encouraging migration to Melbourne - has been doing so for the last 9 years.

The Premier and his media unit have recently been blaming "unexpected " population growth for the rush to build high-rise/high-density apartment accomodation in our suburbs to house the new arrivals. But his government's policy of actively encouraging migration to Melbourne from other states and from overseas makes his "unexpected" excuse hard to swallow.

Bob Birrell points out that the resultant strain on our capacity to cope with this growth has caught the government short and that "for most Melbourne residents, the most insidious threat to the city's liveability is the transformation of suburbia.

For many Melbournians the city's leafy, low-density landscape exemplified  its unique claim to liveability.This is now evaporating before their eyes".

Boroondara has been targeted by the government and the development industry, because Boroondara provides good economic returns, and we are now seeing some of the tragic results with higher density infill developments popping up in our leafy streetscapes as well as the more commercial high-rise developments in our shopping precincts.

BRAG agrees with Bob Birrell, it is time to take a breather but, more importantly, it is time the Premier and his government listened to what the residents all over Melbourne are saying, scrap Melbourne 2030, curtail the push for population growth and consult with the people who live in this city - the residents - before it is too late.