Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, was the guest speaker at the ‘Whittlesea business luncheon’ on 26 August 2011. The theme of the luncheon was “Whittlesea, one of the Fastest Growing Municipalities in Australia‚ĶAre we ready?” and the event was introduced by Mr David Turnbull, the CEO for the City of Whittlesea.

Mr Turnbull spoke about Whittlesea’s planned approach to accommodating the needs of future growth, including its strong desire to match the development of new housing with the creation of new job opportunities. He pointed to the relocation of the Melbourne Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable market (which is expected to provide between 6000 and 10000 jobs in the area) as an example of large-scale development that the Council has supported. He also spoke about the importance of the South Morang Rail Extension project and referred to the success of the ‘University Hill’ development. Perhaps not surprisingly, Mr Turnbull concluded that ‘yes’ Whittlesea is ready to deal with future growth.

Mr Guy spoke more generally about various planning issues and challenges in Victoria. He referred to the current review of the Victorian Planning system and to the need to ‘better define activity centre edges’ but he didn’t provide any information or details that hadn’t previously been announced. He identified the issue of ‘affordability’ as being a key challenge to planning.
The event was extremely well attended and all proceeds were donated to the ‘Women-in-Work’ enterprise.