Our Ideas

What are we thinking?

We believe it is time to start thinking and acting differently when it comes to planning for growth in our cities and regions

What are our big ideas?

We are focused on answering big questions facing our clients. We are exploring how to deliver new and better housing and employment outcomes in urban and regional settings in response to population growth, demographic shifts, changing employment trends and decarbonization.

We are also exploring the role of AI and automation and how it will shape infrastructure, mobility and urban systems now and in the future.

Our team is focusing on the following themes:

Addressing housing supply and affordability by rethinking land supply and industry partnerships

An urgent increase in the supply of land for residential development is needed across all capital cities and in many regions to address population growth and alleviate peak housing challenges. This should be met with a renewed interest in unsolicited

Housing affordability is a real issue that requires real solutions. Most Australian capital cities and many regional and coastal cities are experiencing a housing supply and affordability crisis. 

The reported costs of land, infrastructure, construction materials, labour and statutory fees are continuing to increase – impacting project viability and affordability. 

Meanwhile the volume of dwelling approvals across capital cities continues to either moderate or decline in trend terms, with cumulative impacts on total dwelling supply.

The HIA and others have predicted that in 2024, Australia will see the lowest levels of detached housing construction in more than a decade, despite population growth and dwelling demand outstripping official forecasts.

The Federal Government and many State and Territory Governments have released housing strategies and set ‘targets’ for new housing supply.  Unfortunately, policy does not always equal reality.

  • Programs such as the $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) and National Housing Accord (NHA) aim to facilitate the construction of new social and affordable dwellings and these programs are welcomed.
  • The Victorian Government’s Future Homes Victoria is a set of ready-made architectural designs within a purpose-built planning process to fast-track construction of new dwellings. This program is welcomed.

However, addressing long term housing supply and affordability challenges will involve more than public investment in social housing or the identification of residential lots within ‘800m catchment areas’. Social housing accounts for only 2 per cent of new dwellings nationally. Many areas are excluded from Future Homes Victoria due to complex heritage overlays and planning rules.

Meeting current and future housing needs requires the construction of tens of thousands of new dwellings each year across our capital cities and in regional areas.

This comes about through a combination of major infill developments, small-scale urban consolidations, one-off site-specific projects, large scale urban greenfield developments and the rezoning of rural and other land for new development.

Unsolicited, market-led proposals for large scale land rezonings around Melbourne’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) should be encouraged and supported, whilst balancing complex heritage and biodiversity considerations.

We are currently working with a wide range of landowners, developers, builders, financiers, non-banks, infrastructure agencies, Councils and Federal and State governments to address housing supply challenges in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Our Latest

Big Ideas

The 2024 Federal Budget – A Critique by Dr Nigel Stapledon

The 2024 Federal Budget is an optimistic document. It makes a lot of promises that likely won’t be achieved and makes several moves that could have potentially devastating flow on effects. Here are four notable issues with the Budget.

National Housing Supply & Affordability Council Report – State of the Housing System 2024 A Critique by Dr. Nigel Stapledon

Outlook for the Australian economy and implications for the housing market

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The 2023 State of the Nation’s Housing Report indicates more than 1.8 million new households are expected to form across Australia from 2023 to 2033, taking total households to 12.6 million, up from 10.7 million in 2022.

We need to redefine what we mean by affordability and create new statutory tools

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The concept of housing affordability was not officially defined in Victorian State planning policy or legislation until 2018.  There are several definitions of affordable housing and in many instances they are unclear and commonly misunderstood.

Have a big question? Speak to the experts at Macroplan

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Contact Us

Level 12, 360 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
PH: (03) 9600 0500
Level 10, 580 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
PH: (02) 9221 5211

Level 54, 111 Eagle Street
Brisbane, QLD, 4000
PH: (07) 3221 8166

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