As August draws to a close, Spring is finally in the air! For Sydney-siders, the mark of the new season’s approach is the starter’s gun in the City-to-Surf, and that race was run just a fortnight ago. Meanwhile, Macroplan is doing its own larger circuit around the country, giving presentations on the newly released Census data. We’ve recently finished the ‘first leg’ in Queensland and are now rolling out presentations in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Providing key insights into the latest figures and designed specifically with opportunities for our clients in mind, the complimentary briefing sessions have been a huge success. I encourage you to contact us to organise for a briefing tailored to your own company interests.
One of the well-known trends detailed in the Census is the ageing of our population, and legislation currently before the Queensland government addresses an important housing choice of those in the older demographic. The Housing Legislation Amendment Bill proposes significant changes for retirement villages and manufactured home parks, including changes to pre-contractual disclosures for both residential forms.
Other amendments include a requirement for retirement village operators to prepare a closure plan, and restrictions on increasing site rent for residential parks as well as prohibiting administrative fees for the provision of utilities.
In other legislative news, the NSW Government is introducing independent planning panels in Sydney and Wollongong to provide consent authority for developments valued between $5m and $30m. The panels comprise four members, including three experts and one council-appointed community member, and they will improve the development assessment process by depoliticising decision-making. The Property Council has been advocating these panels for nearly two decades, and former Reserve Bank Governor, Glenn Stevens, also recommended the introduction of mandatory panels to improve housing affordability.
There is activity looming in Queensland too. Billing itself as a conference for the ‘creators and custodians of cities’ - which, I guess, includes most of us - Urbanity 17 takes place in Brisbane on 28-29 September. Given the theme of ‘A Decade of Urban Disruption’, our Chairman Brian Haratsis was an obvious choice of speakers for the conference since his most recent publication is titled ‘Disruptive Cities’. You can hear Brian along with a number of eminent Australian and international urban planners.
Those interested in what makes a great city need look no further than Melbourne. For an astounding seventh year in a row, Melbourne has taken out the title of ‘Most Liveable City’ in the world. Prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit, this year’s list of top 10 is identical to last year’s, and includes two other Australian cities - Adelaide and Perth. Melbourne scored 97.5 out of 100 in total, with perfect scores for healthcare, education and infrastructure. Perhaps it’s not surprising that Melbourne was the birthplace of Macroplan.