The Oppositions Population Taskforce has released its interim report which principally recommends decentralisation to balance Melbourne’s growth.

The report notes that ” it has been estimated that to provide infrastructure to support a 50,000 person population increase in regional Victoria, it would cost $1 billion, compared with $3.1 billion to provide for the same increase in metropolitan Melbourne.

Key points from the report:

  • For decentralisation to be successful, proper planning for increased infrastructure, commensurate with
    population growth, is required.
  • Law and order was the second most frequent topic in submissions received by the Victorian Population Policy Taskforce.
  • Investment in faster, more frequent, and more reliable rail services is essential to enable the rebalancing of growth to regional Victoria.
  • Roads have long been a source of complaint and hazard in regional Victoria, and require attention, involving massive upgrades.
  • Throughout Victoria, there is concern about energy security and pricing. The unexpected speed of the closure of the Hazelwood power plant, wiping out over 20% of Victoria’s cost efficient energy generation has caused great concern to energy intensive businesses throughout the State. \
  • Consideration will also need to be given to generating new jobs and investment in regional Victoria.
  • Access to sufficient water supplies is critical for growth in regional areas, both for domestic use to cater for growing residential development and for business and agriculture. In irrigation regions, especially the Murray-Darling Basin, it is important to balance the needs of the environment with the irrigation sector, which supports thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of economic activity.
  • Population growth in regional cities and towns will require government investment in support services and infrastructure such as health, education, and community facilities.

Read the report