Infrastructure Victoria has forecast that the state’s population will grow from around 6.6 million at the moment to 10.8 million by 2051, and that the population of Melbourne’s ‘fringe’ suburbs will increase by over 900,000 people over that time.
The body also warned that infrastructure and services are failing to keep pace with population growth in outer suburban areas, harming living standards:
Infrastructure Victoria’s 30-year blueprint says the state’s population will be 10.8 million by 2051, up from about 6.6 million today…
Lagging infrastructure in the state’s growth areas – Cardinia, Casey, Hume, Melton, Mitchell, Whittlesea and Wyndham – has left residents with “inequitable” access to jobs and public transport, the adviser warns…
But these areas, which had a combined population of 223,000 in 2018, will be home to an extra 930,000 people by 2036. Their growth represents 40 per cent of all growth in the state. Melbourne’s outer-northern and western suburbs are expected to attract more than 800,000 new residents over the next 30 years.
Buried in the actual report are the following snippets explaining how Melbourne’s livability has been trashed by rapid immigration-driven population growth:
A decade of rapid population growth to 2020 has strained Victoria’s infrastructure, creating congestion and shortfalls. The COVID-19 pandemic has paused population growth, providing an opportunity to ensure systems and policies are in place to better manage future population growth…
When roads or public transport become unacceptably congested, partly depends on the rate of population growth…
Underlying population growth is forecast to resume and drive the need for future action…
Infrastructure Victoria also warns of chronic water shortages as Melbourne’s population balloons:
A warmer, drier climate means less rainfall flowing into Victoria’s rivers and dams, putting more pressure on urban water supplies…
Combined with high population growth, water shortages could emerge in Melbourne as soon as 2028…
Climate change is making parts of Victoria drier, and population growth places pressure on water supplies from increasing consumption and sewage volumes. Urban expansion causes more runoff from impervious surfaces such as roads, paths and buildings. The environment absorbs less stormwater in these places, with more untreated and potentially polluted water flowing into waterways.
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:
Instead of addressing the population problem at its source, Infrastructure Victoria instead recommends more infrastructure investment, alongside sweeping changes to the way we are charged to use road and rail, in order to ‘manage’ demand.
The obvious question arises: given its dire forecasts for Melbourne’s liveability, why hasn’t Infrastructure Victoria recommended that the state take in less migrants in the future to ease these population pressures?
The answer is obvious: 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:
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.
“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…”
“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…”
“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 over-development.
It does not represent the interests of ordinary residents.