Media Release


Regional Victoria to become the Lungs of Melbourne



Regional Victoria will become the lungs of Melbourne providing a release valve to take the increasing population pressure off Melbourne and its expanding fringe suburbs, the Urban Development Institute of Australia (Victoria) said today.

Tony De Domenico
Executive Director UDIA (VIC)

The UDIA (VIC) considers that the regions should be strengthened saying significant growth in the population of Australia's medium sized cities would produce a range of economic and social benefits.

Tony De Domenico, Executive Director of the UDIA (VIC) said, "The Essential Economics research released today by Regional Cities Victoria provides an important focus on the funding challenges ahead to provide infrastructure for Victoria's fast growing regional cities."

The research estimates that regional cities in Victoria will need $4.4 billion spent over the next 20 years to maintain their growth.

Mr. De Domenico said Victoria had a major natural economic advantage with many of the major regional centres with easy reach of Melbourne.

"The lower cost of land in regional areas will be a major driver for people to move to regional cities providing a major opportunity to address housing affordability issues, which at present is putting the Great Australia Dream of home ownership beyond many Victorian young people and families."

"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."

Mr. De Domenico said, "The closely aligned land development and housing industry directly generates a wide range of employment opportunities through 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."

"The connection of regional Victoria to metropolitan Melbourne will also become one of the most important long term strategies to boost sustainable employment opportunities in regional and country Victoria."

"For growth to be sustainable people need jobs, transport, infrastructure and a mix of housing," Mr De Domenico added.

Media Enquires:

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