The Cities of Whitehorse and Frankston, like the City of Maroondah, each have an identified Central Activities District, namely Box Hill, Frankston and Ringwood respectively.
These locations, which are in close proximity to rail stations, have been identified as sites for urban revitalisation, including higher densities and mixed use development. The aim is to provide increased housing, employment and community opportunities within these localities and thus provide more facilities closer to people’s home.
While the policy direction is set by the State Government, local councils are often required to implement policies to support these aims, including structure plans and precinct plans that determine future vision for these centres. The role of the Federal Government in supporting our cities, is an area that is yet to be fully explored.
The Commonwealth Government established the Major Cities Unit to explore the role of our cities in a national context and this afternoon myself and the Mayors of Whitehorse and Frankston discussed the importance of the Central Activities Districts within this framework.
While the Major Cities Unit will be consulting local government, it is imperative that the Central Activities Districts are treated uniquely, given the additional need for infrastructure and investment within these centres.
It is encouraging that the Federal Government is exploring how it can help shape our cities to deliver economic, social and environmental benefits. It is imperative that this work continues given that Australia is among the few countries in the world that lacks a federal perspective on the role and function of our cities.