Sustainable Australia MP Clifford Hayes is calling on the State Government to dump Plan Melbourne in wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Victorian Government’s master planning document, Plan Melbourne—which drives high density development throughout our suburbs—assumes continuing rapid population growth over the next decade. It needs to be dumped, or at the very least, urgently reassessed.

The coronavirus pandemic, and the Federal response to it, means this assumption has been overtaken by events, and that Plan Melbourne is out of date.

“Given the federal government’s post-COVID advice that migration to Australia will fall in coming years and more Victorians will choose to live in less dense regional communities in order to better protect themselves from future pandemics, now is the time to discuss shelving this ill-thought out initiative,” he said.

“We need to make the health and well-being of our community our top policy priority. For years our governments and political leaders have been prioritising economic growth. We need to change the focus to what really matters, our health, the health of our communities and our cities.

“Melbourne’s previous suburban design, with front and back yards, owes a lot to the push against unhealthy, dense, disease-ridden slums by the planners of the early twentieth century.

“We want our backyards back and we want Plan Melbourne to be taken off the agenda.”

The Plan Melbourne addendum states that: "Between 2016 and 2031 metropolitan Melbourne is projected to grow … from … 4.7 million to … around 6.3 million people."