Vic­to­rian Bud­get 2018 – the early prom­ises for hous­ing and live­abil­ity

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Property Guide - - NEWS - Writ­ten by | realestat­e­view.com.au in Prop­erty News

With the state elec­tion fast ap­proach­ing, the ma­jor play­ers have been out in force spruik­ing their prom­ises for hous­ing and live­abil­ity in Vic­to­ria. There are a swathe of is­sues plagu­ing Vic­to­ri­ans, and although Mel­bourne has been named the most live­able city in Aus­tralia – and in­deed the world – for seven years, it has re­cently slipped in the rank­ings and now sits sec­ond, be­hind Vi­enna.

The city’s pop­u­la­tion is on the in­crease, which will only put fur­ther pres­sure on in­fra­struc­ture and re­sources, par­tic­u­larly trans­port, with trains, trams and roads across town des­per­ately due for an up­grade.

So what good­ies is each party bring­ing to the ta­ble?

La­bor

In an ef­fort to re­tain power, the An­drews Gov­ern­ment has re­newed their fo­cus on Mel­bourne’s out­skirts, where many of its die-hard sup­port­ers re­side. Pre­mier Daniel An­drews says he plans to spend $50 bil­lion cre­at­ing a rail loop through the outer suburbs, mak­ing travel between them, and the air­port, more con­ve­nient.

There’s also talk of a fast rail so­lu­tion to the re­gional trav­eller’s woes, and he has pledged to build com­mu­nity hos­pi­tals in out­ly­ing ar­eas such as Eltham, Whit­tle­sea and Point Cook. Sus­tain­abil­ity is also on the agenda, with $1.24 bil­lion to be fun­nelled into a so­lar power pro­gram which would make in­vest­ing in this tech­nol­ogy much more af­ford­able for Vic­to­ri­ans. Home own­ers could in­stall their pan­els at half the re­tail price, with an in­ter­est-free loan over four years to cover the bal­ance. In ad­di­tion, La­bor has pledged to in­vest in so­lar bat­ter­ies – the key to mak­ing so­lar a gen­uine power so­lu­tion.

The Coali­tion

Leader of the Op­po­si­tion, Matthew Guy, has a num­ber of plans which he says will pro­mote growth, while also keep­ing Mel­bourne live­able.

He’s heav­ily fo­cused on outer suburbs, with plans to create a new City of Sun­bury in the boom­ing west, as well as ap­point a Min­is­ter for Gee­long to take the reins in the boom­ing brides­maid city. Guy also has his sights set on re­gional Vic­to­ria, with a view to de­cen­tralise the pop­u­la­tion – and the econ­omy. Jobs (and peo­ple) would shift to re­gional towns, while fast rail would en­able more ef­fi­cient travel between these new pow­er­houses and the Big Smoke. Pop­u­la­tion growth would also be closely mon­i­tored.

In terms of hous­ing, Guy has pro­posed changes to zon­ing laws, in an ef­fort to cur­tail over-de­vel­op­ment, as well as the re­lease of new land on the out­skirts of the city, which should help first home­buy­ers into the mar­ket.

The Greens

For the Greens, af­ford­abil­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity are key tenets of their elec­tion prom­ises. Leader Saman­tha Rat­nam has a five-point strat­egy to make so­lar power ac­ces­si­ble to those in rental ac­com­mo­da­tion and pub­lic hous­ing. The plan could see renters and those liv­ing in apart­ments given the op­por­tu­nity to buy so­lar pan­els on nearby build­ings, with the en­ergy pro­duced awarded as a credit on their bills.

Land­lords would need to up­grade their in­vest­ment prop­er­ties and meet new en­ergy ef­fi­ciency stan­dards, in­clud­ing light­ing, in­su­la­tion and draught- proof­ing, with grants on of­fer to help those strug­gling with the cost, while pub­lic hous­ing would also be up­graded to meet these same re­quire­ments. Owner-oc­cu­piers aren’t left out in the cold ei­ther, with $1000 grants avail­able to re­place old gas heaters with more ef­fi­cient heat pumps.

For new builds, both res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial, the Greens are aim­ing for 8-star en­ergy rat­ings, and have promised to re­serve a cer­tain pro­por­tion of new de­vel­op­ments for af­ford­able hous­ing. The Greens have also pro­posed a change to build­ing reg­u­la­tions which would re­quire all new homes to come equipped with so­lar pan­els or so­lar hot wa­ter, to take max­i­mum ad­van­tage of the Aussie sun­shine.

Now that you know what each party is plan­ning, has it swayed your vote?

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