Frankston falls from Melbourne’s planning vision
The State Government’s pre-eminent planners — the Victorian Planning Authority — visited Frankston on 15 March 2017 to outline plans for Frankston’s future. Steve Dunn, who is presently the acting chief executive of the Victorian Planning Authority, outlined for the audience the recently released Plan Melbourne — a cross-department guide to the growth of Melbourne and its suburbs.
The Plan revises a 2014 version to reflect current policies and priorities. It projects Melbourne’s population to grow from 4.5 million to almost 8 million by 2051 — with the State’s total population set to top 10 million. Another 1.5 million jobs will need to be created for the changing workforce, and another 1.6 million homes will need to be built in Melbourne and its suburbs.
For the South East region of Melbourne where Frankston is located, the population is projected to increase by 1.8 per cent a year. Job growth is currently trending at 0.5 per cent in the South East — falling far short of what will be required to keep new residents to the region gainfully employed.
On paper Frankston will play an important role as a place of State Significance — one of nine metropolitan activity centres helping Melbourne to absorb its population increase by providing a diverse range of jobs, homes and services. However there is virtually no mention in the Plan of how and what jobs can be created in the region. Indeed, there is little meaningful planning outlined for our area. Whilst there is 31 mentions of Frankston in the Plan’s 152 pages, most are place-names on maps, and only six mentions have any planning significance.
Steve spoke expertly and passionately about the work of the Victorian Planning Authority to renew other suburbs around Melbourne, improve transportation and stimulate jobs & economic growth. But in doing so his presentation confirmed what our C4GF members have been suspecting for a long time— Frankston seems to have fallen off the State Government’s planning roadmap.
If the Greater Frankston region is to progress, this must be reversed. In follow-up discussions, Steve has offered to convene a meeting between the Victorian Planning Authority, the Department of Transport, Frankston City Council and the C4GF to start rectifying the problem — an opportunity which the C4GF has arranged to take place in the coming weeks.