Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Victorian Government is pushing through with delivering projects that will keep the State’s building and development sector running as well as create jobs by establishing the Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce.
The Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce – overseen by Planning Minister Richard Wynne and Treasurer Tim Pallas – will investigate planning and investment opportunities that will help boost the State’s building and development industry for short, medium and long term.
“This taskforce will help ensure the building and development industry is a driving force for Victoria’s economy through this pandemic and beyond.
“It will help deliver existing project more efficiently and assist new project to get off the ground faster,” Minister Wynne said.
In addition, four new projects with a combined construction cost of over $1.5 billion has also been approved for development.
Top left - Southbank by Beulah; Top right - 555 Collins Street; Bottom left - 52-60 Collins Street; Bottom right - 550 Epsom Road (source: The Urban Developer)
The four projects being fast-tracked include:
- $2 billion mixed-use Southbank by Beulah
- $1.5 billion office project at 555 Collins Street by Charter Hall
- $650 million commercial project at 52-60 Collins Street by Dexus
- $300 million residential tower at 550 Epsom Road in Flemington by Pace Developments
The Southbank by Beulah project – designed by UNStudio and Cox Architecture – will comprise of two twisting, terraced towers with 789 apartments, 322 hotel rooms as well as 27,000-SQM of office space and 32,000-SQM of retail space. This development is expected to create up to 4,700 jobs during its construction phase.
In turn, Charter Hall’s project in Collins Street - also designed by Cox Architecture – will deliver approximately 84,000-SQM of premium grade office space together with more than 2,300-SQM of retail to be delivered in two stages. Demolition works on the project site has commenced and major construction on the first building will begin by mid-2020, creating more than 2,000 jobs.
Dexus’ development on 52-60 Collins Street will include 35,000-SQM of office space to be built on a 2,000-SQM site.
Lastly, Pace Development’s 15-storey residential building will have 300 apartments that will sit atop the 1,200-metre main racing straight – named StraightSix – at the Flemington racecourse. Construction on this project is due to begin in the second quarter of 2021.
“We’re planning and delivering the major project Victoria needs – supporting jobs and doing what we can to help businesses survive to the other side of this crisis.
“Given the economic challenges caused by coronavirus, it’s more important than ever that we support our building and development industry and the thousands of people it employs,” Mr Pallas said.
Moving forward, the taskforce will initially focus on overseeing the acceleration of planning approvals through Ministerial powers in the case of decisions being delayed due to impacts brought about by the current crisis to the Victorian Planning System.
The taskforce will also provide advise on financial incentives and current revenue measures – this include land tax, developer contributions, fees and rates – as well as give recommendations that will help businesses to survive and fast-track investment.
Three Industry Working Groups will be giving advice and a Steering Committee that involves representatives from industry peak bodies and unions will guide the Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce.
The taskforce will be running for an initial period of three months, and it will report back to government with recommendations.
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