Yet Another Planned Suburban Disaster: Baillieu’s western ‘CBD’ to fail without rail

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'Capital of the west' ... An artist's impression of the East Werribee project, including the employment precinct. Photo: Laura Little

A PLANNED new ”CBD” for Melbourne’s west that the Baillieu government hopes will house 20,000 people and create 50,000 jobs will fail without high-quality public transport, planning experts warn.

The government on Tuesday announced plans for a new suburb and employment centre, to be built on 770 hectares of state-owned land between Werribee and Point Cook.

I don’t know of any alternative jobs cluster in the world which might be located 35 to 40 minutes from the CBD and doesn’t even have a train station. 

A draft master plan for the precinct – which Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu spruiked as ”the capital of the new west” – includes provision for a new town centre with retail and office space, high-rise dwellings, schools and a possible new hospital and university…

The first infrastructure to be built is a new freeway interchange at Sneydes Road, which the government has costed at $40 million, connecting it to the West Gate Freeway and better linking Werribee and Point Cook…

But there is no commitment to build a new railway station for the suburb, although the draft plan includes a proposal for one at Derrimut Road on the Werribee line. Mr Baillieu said the proposed station would not be built before the suburb had developed to the extent that there was demand.

Planning experts warned that without an early investment in good public transport, the government’s vision for the new suburb would fail…

Melbourne University planning expert Alan March said the suburb’s new residents would be consigned to car-dependency.

”Making a car-based employment hub seems like a very outdated idea and I’m frankly surprised that we are continuing to do that,” Dr March said. He warned that a recent ”green” housing development at Aurora in Epping North had failed because the government developers had broken their promise to extend the rail line.

Adam Carey, The Age, November 21, 2012

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One thought on “Yet Another Planned Suburban Disaster: Baillieu’s western ‘CBD’ to fail without rail”

  1. chrisg says:

    Another car based suburb. The planning minister is writing a metropolitan strategy and has released a discussion paper. The latest research says 4 degrees of warming is likely and we need to reduce our emissions by 90% by 2050. Obviously this is an alternate reality.

    By the time they try to put in a train, vested interests will have already provided ample parking freeways and car commuting will be the established mode – a bit like Doncaster and Monash.

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