The draft version of the new metropolitan planning strategy, Plan Melbourne, was released for public comment in October last year.  Submissions on the draft closed on 6 December 2013.  We understand that hundreds of submissions were received by the State Government.

At the time that the draft was released for public comment, it was understood that the metropolitan planning strategy would be finalised and released in early January 2014.  With the entire month of January now behind us, there is no final version of Plan Melbourne and there has been no word from the Minister for Planning.

One reason for the delay may be the release of revised population projections from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in December last year.  A recent article from The Age (26 January 2014) reported that Plan Melbourne was based on population projection figures that are now outdated.  The ABS released population forecasts which estimated that the population of Melbourne could reach between 7.5 to 8 million residents by 2050; a projection 1 million greater than the figure Plan Melbourne has been based on.  With such a substantial increase to the population forecast, it is likely that a number of key policy directions will need to be revised to plan for 1 million more residents than originally anticipated.

The Age article states that Plan Melbourne will not be released for at least another month.  We will be interested to see how Plan Melbourne aims to accommodate the projected additional 1 million residents.

Further information about Plan Melbourne can be found at:  http://planmelbourne.vic.gov.au/home