Victorians are already deeply troubled by the Government’s decision to confine public housing tenants in North Melbourne and Kensington to their rooms slow the spread of COVID-19; but the Planning Minister has learnt nothing from this debacle when it comes to Caulfield Village.
The hardship now being experienced by these residents is all too real. However the advice of the public health experts about the reason for the strategy is crystal clear.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has referred to Melbourne’s public housing towers as having “explosive potential” for coronavirus to spread, and as being a “desperately challenging” environment.
“Tenants in big apartment blocks often share lifts, corridors, rubbish facilities and laundry rooms, making the chance of running into someone higher”.
Why on earth then, did the Victorian Planning Minister take the opportunity to intervene in local democracy in Glen Eira to approve a stack of seven and nine storey towers—also known as Caulfield Village.
At the very time when we should be putting a halt to the construction of further high rise towers, the Victorian Government has been approving even more of these vertical cruise ships. It is reckless, irresponsible, and a recipe for disaster when the pandemics of the future strike.
And not only has the Planning Minister inappropriately intervened to fast-track this concrete jungle, but he is also allowing the developers to get out of building more than one hundred parking spaces.
It is extremely troubling that the Minister has still not learnt from the pandemic.