Media Release


Property Industry Hits Back Over ‘Fat Estates’



"Laying an obesity epidemic on the doorstep of the development industry is bizarre."  



Tony De Domenico 
Executive Director

Housing estates being built throughout Victoria embedded health and recreation needs within their planning and design, the Urban Development Institute of Australia (Victoria) said today.

Tony De Domenico, Executive Director of the UDIA (VIC) today said the attack in today's Age newspaper "Health Fear on Estates" confuses the provision of facilities provided by the development industry and the infrastructure to be provided by Governments.

"Laying an obesity epidemic on the doorstep of the development industry which provides parks, walking and cycling tracks and in some cases swimming pools in their developments, is a bizarre claim".

"There are places to exercise on every project if people want to be involved".

Mr De Domenico said in many cases the industry took over degraded farmland and transformed it into healthy environments including wetlands to protect water resources and provide interesting healthy walking, jogging or cycling experiences. In 2011 the Victorian development industry spent in excess of $92 million on wetlands.

"Apart from providing facilities on their own projects, the investment and economic activity of the development industry produces hundreds of millions of dollars in tax which should be put into local infrastructure".

"Recent figures by Charter Keck Cramer showin 2011, taxes and charges across the three levels of Government on an average block of land in Victoria costing $199,000, was $46,200."

Mr De Domenico said on top of these taxes, the industry is often forced to spend up to $6,000 per hectare to buy up habitat land on the off-chance that it might one day be used by a Golden Sun Moth, Growling Grass Frog or Southern Brown Bandicoot, even though there is no evidence of its presence.

"In the case of the Growling Grass Frogs, a supposed endangered species, they are breeding in wetlands around Melbourne and the argument of them being endangered to hold up projects or add cost to new homes is out of date".

"The industry would rather spend the $6000 per hectare on resident facilities not frogs or moths."

Mr De Domenico said in the case of Point Cook featured in The Age article, its transport issues and public swimming pools, is the result of a decade of a lack of investment by past Federal and State Governments who were well aware of the development schedule and we are now in catch up mode in difficult economic times.

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Corporate Media Communications, UDIA - Mobile: 0417 329 201