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Destruction of environment no solution to housing affordability crisis

Sustainable Population Australia Victorian branch Media Release, 12 September 2007

Sustainable Population Australia Victorian branch vice-president and population and land-use planning sociologist Sheila Newman said Victoria was experiencing a land affordability crisis, rather than a crises in housing affordability.

"The planning system has been tweaked and turbo-charged by the State Government's Melbourne 2030 (M2030) to drive up demand for land through government-stimulated population growth," said Ms Newman.

"Victorians were neither adequately informed nor consulted about M2030. The underlying assumption of M2030 is that growth was inevitable, rather than a political decision.

"The politics and policies of engineering growth remained outside the discussion and slow or no growth were not presented as options."

Ms Newman said that by implication of this policy, a socially marginalised class of people had been created in the outer suburbs of Melbourne where they were vulnerable to interest rate hikes and volatile petrol prices.

"Can Australia continue to pay the environmental, affordability and livability consequences for this kind of dog-eat-dog economics?" she asked.