Infrastructure Victoria spins population propaganda

By Leith van Onselen

Infrastructure Victoria has released a incredibly superficial propaganda report, entitled Growing Victoria’s Potential, spruiking the benefits that could arise from the state’s manic population growth, which is expected to see Melbourne’s population balloon to 8 million people by 2051.

Below are key extracts from the Executive Summary along with some key charts:

Victoria is growing faster than at any other time in the state’s history and Melbourne is forecast to soon become Australia’s most populous city. Victoria has a remarkable opportunity to harness its growing population and thrive in an increasingly competitive global economy…

Any conversation about Victoria’s population growth must include a discussion of population density.  While Melbourne is projected to remain  a low density city by global standards, even as it reaches 8 million people,  there are important choices to be  made about how Melbourne grows. These choices include where and how  to channel medium and higher density living in Melbourne, the rate of expansion of Melbourne’s urban footprint, and  how infrastructure can best support  each approach. All these choices  will come with trade-offs…

It is true that rapid population growth is placing considerable demands on Victoria’s infrastructure and some parts of the state are struggling to keep up. Managing this change won’t always mean building new things. Getting our policy and planning settings right to make the most of our infrastructure, and leveraging existing infrastructure where we can, will be key. Ensuring that new infrastructure aligns strongly with the way Victorians want to work and live will also be crucial.

All of this needs to be underpinned by effective implementation of integrated infrastructure and land use planning. While recent action on this front has been positive, we believe that an even more integrated approach to infrastructure and land use planning can address many of the challenges associated with population growth. We are seeking to capitalise on momentum already underway across government to improve this integration and the 2020 strategy will identify opportunities for further reform.

Our goal is to develop a strategy that can realise Victoria’s potential by turning strong population growth into great outcomes for the state.

We want to ensure Victoria is best  placed to not just be a growing state, but a thriving one.

Buried towards the back of the report is the explicit admission that Victoria’s infrastructure has failed to keep pace with the manic population growth, with the situation projected to worsen in the future [my emphasis]:

For many Victorians, the most visible signs of infrastructure ‘under pressure’ are crowded trains and trams, and congested roads. Our analysis for Melbourne suggests that over the past decade not only have travel times increased, but the reliability of travel time has declined as parts of the network approach capacity. Despite significant capacity increases, our analysis suggests that road congestion will worsen in Melbourne in future, with average travel times per trip increasing by 12% from 2016 to 2051, despite trips actually becoming shorter.

Non-transport infrastructure will also feel the pressure of growth. In some parts of Victoria, rapid population growth is putting pressure on the capacity of infrastructure, such as water supply to meet community needs. Western Water, which serves a wide range of communities from smaller country towns like Woodend and Lancefield to the expanding urban centres of Melton and Sunbury, forecasts that demand will outstrip supply as early as 2021. Beyond this, the number of residential lots serviced by Western Water is forecast to almost quadruple by 2067, mostly in the high growth areas of Sunbury and Melton.

Let’s remember that Infrastructure Australia has already modelled the outcomes for Melbourne as its population surges to a projected 7.3 million by 2048 under three development scenarios, namely:

  • Expanded Low density: 60% of development to take place in existing urban areas;
  • Rebalanced Medium density: 70% of development to take place in existing urban areas; and
  • Centralised High density: 80% of development to take place in existing urban areas.

Under every single development scenario, liveability in Melbourne is projected to deteriorate, with increased congestion and commute times, as well as reduced access to jobs, schools, hospitals and green space:

Infrastructure Australia’s 2018 report, entitled Planning Liveable Cities, also found that Australia’s infrastructure provision is failing badly to keep pace with rapid population growth:

Infrastructure delivery is struggling to keep pace with rapid population growth and change. Our largest cities are ‘playing catch up’ in delivering infrastructure to support population growth…  Our infrastructure funding mechanisms have not kept pace with growth… Communities are increasingly disappointed by their experience of growth…

And in the same report, Infrastructure Australia warned that infrastructure provision is become increasingly expensive, leading to over-reliance on existing capacity:

…construction of new infrastructure is often more expensive, due to the need to tunnel under existing structures or purchase land at higher costs. The small scale, incremental nature of growth in established areas can also lead to an over-reliance on existing infrastructure, which can result in congestion and overcrowding.

The empirical (‘lived’) experience of the past 15 years of hyper immigration-driven population growth has unambiguously seen congestion increase and amenity fall.

Infrastructure Victoria is spinning fairy tales in asserting that Melbourne can magically add another three-plus million people without causing a massive degradation of living standards.

Nobody should be surprised by this propaganda, given Infrastructure Victoria’s board is stacked with big business representatives, which privatise the gain from having more people via expanding their domestic markets and lowering wage costs:

CEO

Michel (Masson) started his career at Deloitte before joining the Bollore Group where he held various senior finance positions in the transport and logistics division in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. In 2005 he joined Keolis as head of Finance and Operations for the International Division where he was responsible for leading public transport operations in seven countries and held various non-executive director positions in UK and German rail franchises.

Chairman

“Jim Miller chairs the Infrastructure Victoria board. He is also Vice Chair at J.P. Morgan, an Advisory Board Member at Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and Director at Household Capital…Jim was an Executive Director at Macquarie Capital from 1994-2015…”

Deputy Chair:

“Maria Wilton’s experience in the investment industry spans thirty years. Maria is a member of the global Board of Governors of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute…”

Board

“Ann (Sherry) is one of Australia’s leading business executives with a career that spans Government, Banking and…”

Infrastructure Victoria is like a meeting place for the very people who represent the champions of mass immigration and development.

[email protected]

Comments

  1. Abul Rizvi says the states love mass immigration:

    6 hours ago

    https://twitter.com/ABCthedrum/status/1118077792631939072

    Dan Andrews actually gives concession cards to foreign “students’!

    International undergraduate students can save 50 per cent on an annual myki with an international Undergraduate Student Education pass (iUSEpass) myki card.

    https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au/tickets/myki/concessions-and-free-travel/children-and-students/international-students/

    FMD. Instead of charging them $40/day, he charges them $3.60/day!

  2. After being born here in the early 70’s, it’s very surreal watching the country I once knew being slowly destroyed via government policy of the last 20 years and being gaslighted by media saying it’s great for me.

  3. – (More) Immigration drives wages lower ==> fewer people can afford to buy a house/property/unit ==> falling property prices.
    – To be more precise: Everything that drives up the cost of living will (ultimately) lead to a decreased demand for housing. Especially when wages are pushed lower as a result of immigration.
    – Falling interest rates since say 1990 and growing debt were the only reasons why property prices kept rising.

  4. The traitors have imposed a Third World immigration population ponzi on the nation.
    The people desperately need that Great Orator to expose the treachery, to enlighten them and to disintegrate the unholy alliance between the progressive Left and the neo liberal Right.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Its interesting how the major political advocate for lower immigration, the one given the most attention by the media/establishment is by far the least “Greatest Orator” in any Australian Parliament,…ever!

      No “Great Orator” is going to rise up out of nowhere and “Save us”
      Only through the widespread participation, by common people in the political process, making their Demands, will we see the change and reforms that benefits common people.
      Turning up to your local public school every so many years to vote isn’t good enough,…it isn’t taking your Democratic rights seriously.
      https://www.alp.org.au/about/join-labor/
      Waiting for some Great Orator to come along is a waste of time.
      https://youtu.be/Grn2EZxcUeA

      • Erminton – it is a great disappointment that Pauline is not an eloquent speaker.
        However, your ” …Only through the widespread participation, by common people in the political process, making their Demands, will we see the change and reforms that benefits common people…”.This is not going to work anymore because the people are being (and have been) brainwashed by the education system. The ideology of Asianisation and Australian integration with Asia began with traitor Hawke and the key for this to be successful is the education system, The altered products of the school system now occupy positions of influence in our society. The ABC is infested with the smug traitors, as we all know, they were playing the the song ‘I am Australian” before the news, showing lots of happy ‘brown people’.
        There is no hope of change with the major parties, too much of the electorate has been altered or brainwashed.
        The only hope is for a Great Orator a charming, eloquent speaker to enlighten the people to the truth, a truth that cannot be spoken freely, the Asianisation of Australia. The only other thing that will interrupt the treachery is a Black Swan.

        In the coming election if your House of Representative form doesn’t have a One Nation candidate, get your name marked off, but don’t vote. That’s the best thing to do.

      • Ermington – I replied to your comment, but it’s held up in the moderator, so probably no hope.
        Not long ago this comment would of sailed through, but now the moderator perfectly illustrates one of the societal problems regarding the immigration issue we are up against

    • But it’s for our own good — as mere plebs we wouldn’t understand this because it’s beyond our collective comprehension, but the really smart people know! Relax and suck it up.

  5. Infrastructure Victoria has come into being because government has subcontracted policy advice to corporate entities to reduce the political risk of being seen to do so directly. This ensures that decisions to serve industry and big money can be presented as “independent” while the people on the board are actually industry and big money.

    How do we know? Well the minister appoints the board – and just look at who the minister saw as good and proper people from the finance industry revolving door (see below).

    As for the 3 or so Vic policy mandarins (Secretaries) that sit on the board, they are supposed to be bound by the Public Service Act to be impartial and serve the public interest (that’s law too). Funny then that they are rubbing shoulders with people from the finance, banking and development lobby or the private industry “consultants” who are the machine men and women who have advanced the financialisation and corporatisation of government.

    Under the PSA it says:

    “The Victorian Public Service (VPS) supports the Government of the day by providing policy advice to Ministers and implementing Government policy. … Public service employees provide impartial and objective advice. It is often referred to as ‘frank and fearless advice’.”

    https://vpsc.vic.gov.au/html-resources/welcome-to-government/7-victorian-public-service/

    How so? In effect we are we are paying public servants $500k to sit on board run by the very private business operatives and interests that they should remain independent of. That’s the entire point of having a public service. Instead, the Victorian government has authorised the marriage of corporate self interest with the public service by an Act of parliament that provides advice to the Minister from people who can be trusted to provide the sort of advice that has been preordained:

    http://www.infrastructurevictoria.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Infrastructure-Victoria-Act-2015.pdf

    Is there anyone on this board opposed to mass immigration? Of course not. Is there an advocate for the public or a possibility to challenge the corporate spin? Nope. And if you are wondering what qualifies you to be the CEO or chair of this new “corporate” sham from the minister’s perspective take a look:

    CEO

    Michel (Masson) started his career at Deloitte before joining the Bollore Group where he held various senior finance positions in the transport and logistics division in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. In 2005 he joined Keolis as head of Finance and Operations for the International Division where he was responsible for leading public transport operations in seven countries and held various non-executive director positions in UK and German rail franchises.

    Chairman

    “Jim Miller chairs the Infrastructure Victoria board. He is also Vice Chair at J.P. Morgan, an Advisory Board Member at Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and Director at Household Capital…Jim was an Executive Director at Macquarie Capital from 1994-2015…”

    Deputy Chair:

    “Maria Wilton’s experience in the investment industry spans thirty years. Maria is a member of the global Board of Governors of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute…”

    Board

    “Ann (Sherry) is one of Australia’s leading business executives with a career that spans Government, Banking and…”

    http://www.infrastructurevictoria.com.au/our-team/

    Infrastructure Victoria is like a meeting place for the very people who represent the champions of mass immigration and development professionally. This sham corporate body advises the representative you voted for (the minister) not you. As such it demonstrates the very MO of democratic decay: club like dealings with government and industry under the pretext of independence and an excuse for the Minister. It is corruption of the very meaning of just and democratic governance that cuts out the electorate and empowers the elite as foxes are put in charge of the henhouse. It is symptomatic of a government seeking to divest and deflect responsibility for handing policy over to the private sector.

    • ++

      And no doubt staffed by former DOI planning ‘experts’ many of who probably worked on Melbourne 2030 which was a complete sham and whose high growth population forecast is tracking about half of what has eventuated. Incompetents or geniuses?

    • Clive, funny, about a year ago we rode with a guy who was a contractor to them and he told us that all the inside workings on infrastructure were limited to Melboure and Geelong. The northern limit was Sunbury, and east to Pakenham. So the group he was in only planning infra in those areas, and he qualified it by saying that was where the majority of the funds were allocated.

      I was flicking radio stations driving this morning and had to flick again as the ABC had some person discussing population and what they are pushing is not more infrastructure, but restricting car use so we’ll need less. There seemed to be no upper limit on the growth, not a word about other issues like services (schools/hospitals/etc), or sustainability. The ABC yet again seems to be happy to push the inner city model where they get on a tram to/from go to their never under threat well paid jobs. They even pushed that the transit time on the freeways are dropping as is the net number of immigrants. I know a girl working for a marketing company in Melbourne and her commute went from 90 to 120 mins in 2 1/2 years and she just quit to find another job. She can’t make enough to live in the city and there is no train link. This might be an exception, but to say transit time are dropping is not even true for where I live. It’s mostly 15 – 30 mins more for my commute.

      • I’ve often wondered how many social and mental health problems have been exacerbated and caused by extended commuter time.

        Causing routine frustration to millions of people has a psychological toll that contributes to their reduced quality of life and that of their children. As far as I can see this is ignored by sham corporate entities staffed with servants of the finance industry and “public servants” employed to hear their pearls of wisdom.

        If you cram rats into a high density environment and make them run a competitive maze for food on a daily basis you increase aggression and levels of conflict. It’s no different in humans. That increases rates of disease, poorer maternal care (even cannibalism) and lower mental health etc. It is now known that stress experienced in utero (maternally) causes a permanent onward change to stress mechanisms in the children born of such animals. That’s likely to be the case in humans and its consequences are underrated. It is also likely to be a major contributing factor in cancers, heart disease – i.e. the biggest killers.

        While Dan Andrews would be the first to moralise and pontificate about violence against women, anti-social behaviour and social problems in the working class etc he’s running the same rodent experiments with humans in Melbourne. Stress working class people further with a massive mortgage, low levels of infrastructure and make them pay tolls. Police the commute with speed cameras and fines to seek conformity and ratchet up the stress further. Put lower paid people on the fringes of a city or cram them into small dog boxes and make them fight to live and you inflict suffering and disease on workers the likes of which we have not seen since the start of the Industrial Revolution.

        When the dust settles on using mass immigration as a cynical political and economic tool perhaps we can calculate the human cost of reducing people’s living space and mental health and the social and medical costs of increasing their stress levels. I think it is already starting to be clear that the impacts are lethal and cost society far more than the benefits. In fact, the finance-driven program of crazy population expansion is probably one of the biggest causes of disease, death and unhappiness that we can do something about. It is not hyperbolic to consider this as a form of mass abuse and murder.

        So where are the psychologists, engineers, social scientists and epidemiologists on the board of Infrastructure Victoria? They don’t exist, but are needed to let these flunkies know that they are involved in a program that has lethal consequences. They are also needed to advise the minister that he/she is responsible for the destruction of a once “liveable” city and a once model society.

      • LOLOL!! Frank and fearless were the great buzzwords of the early noughties. You must have been in the system then? Frank and fearless as long as it toed the party line otherwise in true public service fashion they’d completely cut you out of everything till you went out of your mind and left!

  6. proofreadersMEMBER

    “… our analysis suggests that road congestion will worsen in Melbourne in future …”

    But, but, the “congestion-busting”, happy-clappy ScoMo is going to fix the congestion, so that Melbourne (and Sydney) can welcome more “sardines”?

    • He’s got the answer: flying cars!

      (God help us all if that ever transpired given the standard of driving these days)

  7. Good interview with former NSW Premier Bob Carr oh the Kenny Report on Sky News yesterday. Carr said population policy was the most avoided issue in the. election campaign, neither major party was discussing it, yet it affected every other issue. Carr said that since 2004 Melbournes population had grown by 36 percent!!! He said there is no developed country in the world that has embraced such high levels of population growth. Carr has objected to our high population growth rates for some time, he is a good speaker. Probably the most prominent person, who did not hitch his wagon to Hanson as Smith did, to be doing so. I hope he continues to speak out

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      One puppet telling the other puppets to be vocal. hahahaha
      Of course the puppets have zero credibility Liz, and that very much includes you !

      Sadly, now the economy is so totally stuffed, so hollowed out, so dependent on private and public debt and immigration to keep growing. Slash the immigration and it collapses, don’t slash it and it will just get worse and worse over time and collapse in a big heap and probably with massive revolts and anger in the end anyway. Might as well get it over and done with fast and rebuild a real economy from the ruins. Of course, no puppet um “leader” is going to be for that So we’ll keep charging along this road to nowhere at full pace.

      For you Liz: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQiOA7euaYA

  8. robert2013MEMBER

    Also that part about thriving in the increasing competitive global economy is probably a pipe dream. Victoria runs a large and growing trade deficit and mass immigration has made it worse.