Today’s report on the Melbourne 2030 urban growth boundary cries out for a comment from Prosper Australia members. Melbourne University academic Rob Moodie rolled out the usual suspects in recommending that dwellings per hectare improve on the urban fringe, that there be a smaller, more intense concentration of transport hubs and lastly, the latest bureaucratic decree, that all new developments have a set percentage of housing set aside for low income people.
What is needed is an analysis on council rating systems and how this has contributed to today’s problems. CIV rating penalises home building and encourages the waste of land, in effect subsidising the land banking speculators that have held ‘doughnut’ suburbs like Braybrook and Sunshine to ransom. That’s the real supply issue. If 20% of all new developments are restrained for low income earners, what will stop the developer upping the price for the other 80% to cover this profit shortfall?
Readers interested in simplifying the system and simultaneously enhancing affordability must read Phil Anderson’s 1996 report on Victoria’s Municipal Rating system. Of interest would also be Lev Lafayette’s The Elected Representative’s Guide to Site Revenue for Public Finance.
Bureaucratic decrees will always be a step behind the marketplace. Public infrastructure will continue to be undermined by land speculators who outbid families and small businesses surrounding infrastructure hubs. We cannot afford these inefficiencies with the wealth gap growing and climate change speeding up. The only genuine path towards affordability and sustainability is to switch taxes off our hard work and onto resources like land and oil. This will stop the hoarding that is constraining true freedom.