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Call for State political parties to improve liveability

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Local government is calling on political parties to commit to actions that will improve liveability for all Victorians in the lead up to November’s state election.

Cr Mary Lalios, President of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) said councils had identified solutions to address growing challenges such as congestion, homelessness and population growth.

“Melbourne is one of the world’s most liveable cities. We celebrate this accomplishment but also recognise a range of liveability hurdles impacting on communities, business and Victoria’s economy.

“Councils’ plans and strategies are working towards solutions for their local communities to cope with population changes, climate change, housing affordability and infrastructure needs.

“However, Victoria is overdue for an integrated State transport strategy that includes a freight plan and targets for public transport, car transport and active transport options such as cycling and walking.

“We want to help the State achieve better connected communities. This requires a long-term plan to guide delivery of more reliable and connected transport options in response to growing traffic congestion.

“Improving the frequency of rural and regional public transport services in particular would help to resolve the pressures on Melbourne, support regional growth and make the whole state more liveable.

Cr Lalios said local government also played a key role in the sustainability of our built environment, and facilitated planning solutions to provide more affordable housing options and expand renewable energy.

“We call on the government to support councils with State level policies and resources to help balance a range of competing tensions faced by local communities.

“More Smart Planning program reforms are needed in Victoria to reduce complexity and make the planning process simpler for all applicants.

“We also call on political parties to champion more liveable buildings by adopting State planning and building policies that support councils’ efforts to embed sustainable building design options into the planning process.

“Greater use of inclusionary zoning – low-cost housing provided as a portion of new developments – is also sought by many metropolitan and regional councils to ease Victoria’s housing affordability crisis.

“Expansion of renewable energy is also vital for Victoria, but energy developments often cause tension in the community. Appropriate State controls are needed to guide councils, as well as access to independent advice that responds to wind farm noise conflicts.

“Local government seeks to strengthen partnerships with the State Government and work together on solutions that improve the liveability of all Victorian communities,” she said.

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View the MAV Call to Parties state election plan

Contact Cr Mary Lalios on 0447 189 409 or MAV Communications on 9667 5521.