Infrastructure Victoria is an independent advisory body providing expert advice to the Victorian Government.
Merri-bek councillors recently endorsed a submission to Infrastructure Victoria’s Strategy, helping shape the state’s energy network, transport, housing, parklands, water resources and other infrastructure needs and priorities over the next 30 years.
“Council made a number of recommendations supporting our vision for a connected, progressive and responsible Merri-bek, ” says Kirsten Coster, Director City Futures.
“We’re looking to best prepare our city and community for population growth and a changing climate, and it was great to see close alignment with Infrastructure Victoria’s draft strategy.”
Prioritising zero emission vehicles
Given Australia had the third-lowest level of electric vehicles sales of the 35 OECD member states, our feedback for the Strategy supported accelerating the uptake of zero emissions vehicles.
Keeping our city cool
We also supported a target 30% tree canopy coverage in new growth areas and recommended this be extended to all redevelopment areas. Recognising Moreland’s own declining canopy cover, we welcomed a review of state planning controls to help reach this target in addition to those already being introduced by Council.
Energy-efficient, all-electric buildings
Supporting our journey towards zero emissions by 2040, we backed the Strategy’s recommendations to encourage new gas-free housing estates, review current gas policies and require 7-star energy-rated new homes in 2022, increasing to 8 stars by 2025. We also strongly recommended that barriers facing schools wishing to install solar PV are significantly reduced.
“We have a successful history of engaging with local residential developers to encourage all-electric buildings. Gas-free development in these projects is technologically feasible and commercially viable,” says Ms Coster.
Infrastructure Victoria’s Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy is due to be tabled in the Victorian Parliament in mid-2021.