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Can the Mitchell Shire build 68,000 homes?

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Emily Waite
Emily Waite
Emily Waite has been the Editor of the North Central Review since late April, 2024. With a particular focus on delivering community driven stories, Emily has been responsible for implementing the new 'Words of wisdom' segment, and regularly reaches out to residents both young and old to share their stories with the paper. Emily graduated with high distinctions in a Bachelor of Music from JMC Academy in 2022, and graduated with a Graduate Diploma in Writing and Literature from Deakin University in 2023.

In a bid to tackle the housing crisis, the State Government has announced that the Mitchell Shire will be expected to more than triple their housing stock – the highest request of any municipality in Victoria.

With the State Government announcing that they plan to have two million homes built by 2051, councils across Victoria have been burdened with the request to meet the high demands of their housing targets.

Expected to carry out one of the largest requests at 68,000 homes, the Shire will see the current housing figure of 21,800 homes increase by 312 per cent.

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CEO of Urban Development Institute of Australia Linda Allison stated that while the 312 per cent target was ambitious, it presented an opportunity for the Shire to expand in a meaningful and worthwhile way.

“The targets assigned to Mitchell Shire are incredibly ambitious, but they are an acknowledgement that there is a strong proportion of our Victorian community who want to live in new, detached homes,” she said.

“While this presents challenges for infrastructure delivery alongside those houses, it also presents as an opportunity for Mitchell Shire to create further opportunities where people can live, work, and play. Collaboration with governments at all levels and industry will be key to achieving the kinds of targets set out by the State Government.”

To reach this figure, the Mitchell Shire 2050 Community Vision predicts that by 2041, 38 new homes will be built every week, bringing the expected housing figure to 33,592 – falling just under 50 per cent short of its target.

While Council’s vision recognised that the new targets will increase the need for local schools and other additional community facilities, an Infrastructure Australia report warned that if the Hume Freeway and V/line services are not upgraded, congestion delays will cost the nation $2.15 billion annually by 2031. Furthermore, the number of passengers accessing trains in peak times would increase by just over 1200 per cent – from 700 passengers in 2017 to 9300 in the same year.

Mitchell Shire Acting Mayor Councillor Nathan Clark stated that while Council acknowledged the challenge of the target, being Victoria’s fastest-growing municipality, they recognised the critical importance of delivering their target on time.

“Our communities deserve the best, and we are committed to ensuring they receive the necessary infrastructure and services they need,” he said.

“It is paramount that we focus on sustainable growth, ensuring that housing development is matched with the necessary infrastructure and services to support our growing population. During recent years, Council has proactively put measures in place to support well-planned growth, and has invested heavily in preparing long term strategic plans to facilitate this – particularly around our peri-urban towns of Broadford, Kilmore, and Seymour.

“The State Government has set an ambitious goal, but Council is committed to making it achievable and to continuing to play our role in supporting housing affordability. We continue to advocate for the timely delivery of other infrastructure such as schools, and we are currently in the design phase for a range of sporting and community facilities. We also recently secured funds to build a new community hub in Wallan which will support children and families to access kindergarten, maternal and child health, and other support services.”

However, Member for Northern Metropolitan Region Evan Mulholland said that the announcement had left residents of Wallan ‘in shock’.

“This decision mandates the town to expand by an unprecedented 300 percent, a rate almost five times greater than the growth planned for the Premier’s own electorate,” he said.

“This comes after Labor abandoned its promise to build 80,000 homes ‘in each and every year.’

“Labor has failed to fund the Wallan Diamond, which is already needed to keep up with existing demand. Additionally, Wallan’s roads lie littered with potholes. Wallan also lacks common amenities like a public swimming pool … [and] basic infrastructure many other areas take for granted.

“Labor needs to ensure that Wallan has appropriate infrastructure before people move in, not after. Time and time again, we see Labor cramming people into communities like Wallan but failing to upgrade the existing infrastructure to cope with it.”

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  1. It will never happen if it’s left up to this council to do it when they go wasting well over 5 Million on the dilapidated bridge to no where and the mess they made of Sydney st Kilmore

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