Media Release


Development Industry Well Placed to Handle Regional Population Expansion



The development industry in Victoria is well placed to handle the long term population growth in regional Victoria, which is forecast to rise from 1.5 million to a projected 2.3 million by 2051, in a report titled Victoria in Future 2012 released by the Victorian Government today, according to the Urban Development Institute of Australia (Victoria). 


Tony De Domenico, Executive Director  UDIA (VIC) 

Tony De Domenico, Executive Director of UDIA (VIC) said, "with Melbourne being in the second smallest State in Australia, placing many of its fast growing regional centres within two hours of Melbourne, the industry has already responded to housing demand in regional Victoria". "In our view, regional Victoria has an extremely bright future which will spill over from major regional centres to smaller towns."

Mr De Domenico said the steps being taken on improving planning policies and streamlining planning process by the Baillieu Government and the Minister for Planning Matthew Guy, will create a long term benefit to regional communities in the future to manage and service population growth.

"Planning an orderly release of land to meet consumer demand is a key to the long term success of regional Victoria which in turn will also take population pressure off the suburbs of Melbourne."

Mr De Domenico said many major land development companies and home builders have already established significant commercial operations in regional centres such as Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong, to cope with consumer demand that has been driven by both price and lifestyle choices. The development industry has also created capacity in the LatrobeValley, Shepparton, Mildura, and Wodonga and Warrnambool.

Median home prices in metropolitan Melbourne - December quarter, 2010 according to the REIV, saw houses costing $601,500, and units and apartments $480,000.

Median home prices in regional Victoria at the same time saw houses in Greater Ballarat at $276,750, Greater Bendigo $258,000, and Greater Geelong $379,750.

Mr De Domenico said, "affordable new housing projects, designed to blend into the existing regional and country environment, also provide major social benefits to regions by encouraging the growth of a younger population as well as creating employment opportunities within the region".

"The closely aligned land development and housing industry directly generates a wide range of employment opportunities through their investment and development of homes".

"Apart from the initial employment generated through development of new housing projects, a growing population of regional and country Victoria creates a stronger sustainable consumer market for all local businesses."

UDIA considers that the regions should be strengthened; significant growth in the population of Victoria's medium sized cities would produce a range of economic and social benefits.

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Corporate Media Communications, UDIA (VIC) Mobile: 0417 329 201