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Summary of recommendations

Section 01: Confront long-term challenges

1.1 Navigate the energy transition

1. Accelerate consumer purchases of zero emissions vehicles

In the next two years, publish a statewide electric vehicle charging network strategy, and produce charging infrastructure design standards and payment principles. Over the next five years, monitor and review the effectiveness of financial incentives in encouraging early zero emission vehicle purchases. Commit to no longer registering new petrol and diesel vehicles in Victoria by 2035 at the latest, through increasingly stringent vehicle registration emissions standards.

2. Transition government fleet and freight vehicles to zero emissions technologies

Within the next five years, require all new government fleet vehicles to be zero emissions vehicles where available. Incentivise uptake of zero emissions freight vehicles through reviewing restrictions on zero emissions freight movements on freight routes.

3. Augment electricity transmission for renewable energy and resilience

Support augmentation of critical electricity transmission infrastructure by 2027–28 to accommodate new renewable energy generation and improve network resilience and reliability through interconnection with other states.

4. Identify and coordinate Renewable Energy Zones 

In the next year, identify Renewable Energy Zones, especially in the state’s north-west, and continue to coordinate their development over the next 10 years.

5. Require 7-star energy-rated new homes by 2022, and increase afterwards

Require all new homes to achieve a minimum 7.0-star NatHERS rating (or equivalent) by 2022, increasing towards 8.0 stars (or equivalent) by 2025, either through the National Construction Code or Victorian regulations.

6. Mandate a home energy disclosure scheme

In the next five years, develop an energy efficiency disclosure scheme for home sales, to overcome information barriers and encourage energy efficiency improvements to existing homes.

7. Strengthen minimum energy efficiency standards for rented homes

In the next three years, increase minimum energy efficiency standards to reduce energy use and costs in rented homes. During the next 15 years, keep updating these standards to reflect new cost effective measures, and improve renters’ ability to make home energy efficiency improvements.

8. Make Victorian Government buildings more energy efficient

Generate energy savings in existing owned and leased Victorian Government buildings through energy efficiency upgrades. Set and report against energy efficiency targets for the next five years to support delivery of energy efficiency outcomes, then review with a view to set a longer term energy efficiency target.

9. Encourage demand management pricing to reduce peaks and optimise distributed energy

In the next 10 years, optimise use of existing electricity infrastructure by encouraging demand management pricing.

10. Confirm gas policies and pathways to reach net zero emissions and allow new gas-free homes

Within a year, respond to Infrastructure Victoria’s Advice on gas infrastructure, including by considering the trajectory to transition natural gas to reach net zero emissions by 2050. This allows gas network planning changes after 2025. Adjust policies so they do not encourage or embed future residential natural gas use.

1.2 Respond to a changing climate

11. Specify climate scenarios and carbon value in assessing infrastructure

In the next year, update and expand practical instructions for government agencies on integrating climate-related risks into infrastructure assessments. This should include high, medium and low future climate change scenarios, transitional risks and valuing emission reductions.

12. Strategically review climate consequences for infrastructure

Strategically review the climate change consequences for Victoria’s infrastructure needs and priorities, beginning in November 2021 after delivering the adaptation plans under the Climate Change Act 2017.

13. Consider all water supply sources

Consider all water sources for supply augmentation, including identifying and addressing barriers to purified recycled drinking water within the next 10 years. When planning for future water supply, investigate all options including, but not limited to recycled water, seawater desalination, stormwater harvesting and better use of the water grid.

14. Progress integrated water cycle management

Within five years, accelerate progress toward an integrated model of water cycle management, starting by clarifying policy settings to allow the better use of stormwater and recycled water.

15. Improve decision-making for urban water investment 

In the next five years, clearly allocate the roles and responsibilities for urban water systems and major supply augmentation planning. 

16. Strengthen agricultural water security by modernising irrigation

In the next 30 years, contribute funding toward planning and delivery of water infrastructure and irrigation modernisation projects across Victoria. 

17. Upgrade Victoria’s emergency water network 

In the next year, assess the condition, capacity and security of Victoria’s emergency water supply point network, and upgrade or replace inadequate supply points. Clarify ongoing responsibility for monitoring, maintenance and funding to secure a resilient network.

1.3 Embed resilience

18. Invest in protection and adaptation for Victoria’s coasts

 In the next year, develop clear guidance on coastal adaptation planning, including thresholds, triggers, and planning guidelines to support local area decision-making. Invest in coastal protection upgrades and maintenance, including beach and dune protection and rehabilitation, and storm surge protection, over the next eight years. 

19. Build back better after emergencies

In the next year, consider policy changes and funding mechanisms so high priority public infrastructure destroyed by emergencies is built to a more resilient standard or in less vulnerable locations.

 20. Improve critical infrastructure information flows and embed resilience 

Over the next five years, expand information sharing capabilities and embed resilience across and between critical infrastructure sectors and jurisdictions. Among mechanisms to achieve this, consider expanding the Victorian legislated definition of critical infrastructure beyond energy, water, and transport.

1.4 Embrace technology and innovation

21. Prepare for increasingly automated vehicle fleets

In the next year, begin updating transport regulations to allow automated vehicle operation on the road network. In the next 10 years, upgrade roads and communications infrastructure to help facilitate increasingly connected and automated vehicles, particularly for corporate and government fleets. Develop policy, business case and land use planning guidance to maximise the benefits of automated vehicles and mitigate their risks.

22. Facilitate integration of public transport with new mobility services

In the next five years, develop open access ticketing platforms to facilitate integration of public transport modes with new mobility services, incorporating better data sharing and collection. Remove public transport contract barriers to allow integration of existing and emerging transport modes and services.

23. Incorporate personal mobility devices in regulation

In the next two years, incorporate nationally consistent rules for personal mobility devices in Victorian legislation, update existing active transport design standards to better accommodate new devices and develop a statewide regulatory framework for shared mobility schemes.

24. Introduce new road network demand management technology

In the next five years, progressively introduce new road network demand management technologies across the state and integrate management systems for different road-based transport modes. Combine them with a road infrastructure upgrade program to optimise the benefits of technologies, such as by providing extra clearways and introducing dedicated lanes for bus routes. 

25. Use innovation to deliver better models of health care 

Within two years, help slow the growth in demand for hospital infrastructure by developing a comprehensive statewide health innovation strategy, supported by funding over five years to promote and progressively implement better models of health care.

26. Modernise courts through digitisation and contemporary shared facilities

In the next year, begin increasing court efficiency and help meet demand by digitising suitable court systems and procedures. Invest in new contemporary, adaptable, multi-jurisdictional court facilities during the next 10 years.

27. Improve technology and infrastructure for a responsive police service

In the next 10 years, invest in technological capacity to better support a responsive police service, and deliver infrastructure to enable a contemporary hub-and-spoke policing model, co-located with health and human services where appropriate.

1.5 Build a circular economy for waste and recycling

28. Facilitate improved recycling infrastructure for priority materials

In the next year, focus efforts to increase and upgrade waste processing infrastructure on six priority materials. Facilitate increased recovery and reprocessing capacity and capability for paper and card, plastics, and organics by 2025. Revisit funding mechanisms and align recycling infrastructure with land use settings.

29. Strengthen end markets for recycled materials

Continue to deliver market development for recycled materials by updating standards and specifications to be performance-based rather than material based, and explicitly require the Victorian public sector to use recycled products where feasible. In the next five years, support research, development and demonstrations to build confidence and demand for recycled products.

30. Address barriers to recycling and reducing waste 

In the next year, reduce recyclable material contamination by supporting greater consistency in kerbside and commercial collection and separation of glass, paper, cardboard and organic materials. In the next year, design and implement behaviour change programs to reduce contamination, and consistently maintain further behaviour change programs in the next 30 years.

31. Minimise waste and improve residual waste infrastructure planning

In the next two years, improve infrastructure planning for managing residual waste, and further clarify the role of waste-to-energy facilities. Over the next 30 years, consistently invest in waste avoidance through behaviour change programs, pricing, regulation and other incentives.

Section 02: Manage urban change

2.1 Integrate land use and infrastructure planning 

32. Produce public plans for priority infrastructure sectors 

In the next five years, develop and publish long-term statewide infrastructure plans for priority infrastructure sectors for which the Victorian Government maintains substantial responsibilities, including sequencing and timelines for investment.

33. Publish Victoria’s transport plan

In the next year, develop and publish Victoria’s integrated transport plan. Require the transport and strategic land use plans to align with each other.

34. Review Victoria’s infrastructure contribution system to cover gaps 

In the next two years, complete a review of Victoria’s many infrastructure contributions schemes to create a consistent and efficient system that contributes to Victorian and local government infrastructure costs. A revised infrastructure contribution system can apply more broadly, including in established suburbs, growth areas, peri-urban areas, and regional cities.

2.2 Create thriving urban places

35. Support more homes in priority established places

In the next year, identify new priority locations in established suburbs for residential intensification to better use existing infrastructure. Following this, in partnership with local government, review planning settings to allow increased housing density and establish design review advisory panels. 

36. Use value-capture mechanisms to deliver very low income housing

Within the next two years, change and actively apply planning regulations to provide affordable rental housing for Victorians on very low incomes in places with good access to public transport and services, when they are re-zoned for more intensive residential use. 

37. Develop an interconnected open space network

In the next three years, help create an interconnected open space network and extend the urban tree canopy, by providing direct funding, and reviewing and reforming the developer open space contribution scheme. 

38. Partner with local governments to fund pedestrian infrastructure

Over the next five years, partner with local governments to fund pedestrian infrastructure network upgrades to connect people to priority places, including central Melbourne, the Monash National Employment and Innovation Cluster, other activity centres and train stations.

39. Transform cycling in Melbourne, Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong

In the next 10 years, prioritise and significantly progress developing a continuous network of high quality, safer cycling corridors in Melbourne, Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong, including separated cycle ways and more storage at train stations and activity centres. In the next five years, immediate priorities include connections within and between central Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, and connections to the Monash, La Trobe and Sunshine National Employment and Innovation Clusters.

40. Improve walking and cycling data to better estimate travel, health and safety impacts and benefits

In the next year, begin developing better walking and cycling information and data. In the next three years, incorporate this data and information into Victorian Government transport models for strategic and project planning, and project appraisal to guide investment decisions.

41. Reallocate road space to priority transport modes

In the next year, start delivering road space reallocation initiatives to better support and enforce priority movement through streets and places. Adopt a five-year target for delivery of more ambitious road space reallocation initiatives. Legislate for faster, simpler, and more consultative road space reallocation in government decision-making.

42. Redesign tram routes 

In the next 10 years, redesign tram routes, including short shuttle routes, and reserve land for future tram depots, for more capacity in fast growing inner Melbourne areas.

43. Activate urban renewal with new tram links

In the next year, fund the northern Fishermans Bend tram connection for delivery by 2026 and complete the planning for the southern route. Within two to five years, commit to delivering a tram extension to Arden, and to the former defence site at Maribyrnong if required.

44. Plan for and fund public transport accessibility, including tram stop upgrades

Fund public transport accessibility improvements to infrastructure and services, including for priority tram and bus stops, to make substantial progress toward the legislated 2032 accessibility targets.

2.3 Steer changes in travel behaviour

45. Adopt permanent off-peak discounts for public transport fares

Permanently adopt discounted off-peak fares for metropolitan public transport and discontinue ticket types that do not offer discounts for off-peak travel.

46. Reduce bus and tram fares 

In the next year, reduce bus and tram fares, while maintaining an integrated ticketing system, to encourage people to make greater use of cost-effective public transport services that can be quickly expanded.

47. Remove the free tram zone

In the next year, remove the free tram zone to improve equity, enhance the performance of the tram network and provide better safety and transport access for those most in need.

48. Appoint an independent transport pricing adviser

In the next year, appoint an independent body to advise on and monitor transport prices over the next 30 years. 

49. Reduce inner Melbourne congestion by further reforming parking pricing 

Within the next two years, review the Melbourne Congestion Levy on parking to increase its value, expand the properties it applies to, and cover a wider area. In the next five years, consider extending the levy to on-street parking and supporting a trial of demand-responsive pricing for inner Melbourne on-street parking.

50. Price parking at major public transport hubs

In the next five years, charge parking fees at major public transport hubs, followed by all train stations and park-and-rides, to help encourage people to travel there using public and active transport, and to make parking spaces available for public transport users who need them most. 

51. Incorporate congestion pricing for all new metropolitan freeways 

Apply congestion-based peak and off-peak tolling to all new metropolitan freeways, including the North East Link, to better manage traffic flow and impacts on nearby local roads. 

52. Trial full-scale congestion pricing in inner Melbourne

In the next five years, trial full-scale congestion pricing in inner Melbourne to reduce congestion on inner city roads.

53. Phase out fixed road user charges and introduce user pays charging

Replace fixed road user charges with variable distance-based and congestion charges over the next 10 years, by gradually expanding and reforming the existing electric vehicle charge. Ensure user pays charging reflects the relative costs of road use, encouraging people to adopt beneficial travel behaviour.

2.4 Adapt infrastructure for modern needs

54. Require accessible buildings for public services

In the next year, establish an accessibility upgrade fund to contribute towards priority building upgrades to meet contemporary accessibility standards. By 2032, require all Victorian Government provided and funded services to be delivered from premises that meet contemporary accessibility standards. 

55. Rapidly renew old public housing 

Rapidly renew dilapidated public housing properties to improve functionality, accessibility and energy efficiency with a priority to renew at least half of all older low-rise apartments and older three bedroom detached dwellings by 2031

56. Upgrade and rebuild public hospital infrastructure

In the next five years, publish priorities for hospital renewal to enable modern health care services and meet future demand. In the next 10 years, redevelop the Royal Melbourne Hospital and progress the upgrade and rebuild of the Alfred Hospital and Austin Hospital.

Section 03: Harness infrastructure for productivity and growth

3.1 Shape the transport network for better access

57. Reshape the metropolitan bus network and introduce ‘next generation’ bus services

By 2025, reshape the metropolitan bus network in Melbourne’s north-west and south-east in time for the opening of the Melbourne Metro Tunnel. Introduce ‘next generation’ bus services, beginning by using them on the new Doncaster busway. In the next 10 years, continue reforming bus networks in Melbourne and Geelong, including by revising the coverage standard and using more flexible bus services in lower demand areas. 

58. Connect suburban jobs through ‘next generation’ buses and road upgrades

In the next five years, create new ‘next generation’ bus services and better roads to connect outer and growing suburbs to National Employment and Innovation Clusters and major employment centres. Consider using a ‘next generation’ bus service instead of trams between Caulfield and Rowville.

59. Increase off-peak service frequencies and suburban rail corridor capacity

Over the next five years, increase Melbourne’s train service frequencies for off-peak, counter-peak and weekend services. Develop and progressively deliver a prioritised 15-year network service upgrade program for suburban train corridors, including track and signalling improvements, higher capacity trains, carriage retrofits and an upgraded train control centre.

60. Reconfigure the City Loop for more frequent and reliable services

Within the next two years, complete a business case to reconfigure the City Loop, including determining its timing. Include planning for more frequent metropolitan services on the Craigieburn, Upfield, Frankston, and Glen Waverley services, while considering a future express railway line between Camberwell and Burnley to prepare for future rail patronage on the Lilydale, Belgrave, and Alamein lines. Explore options and staging to extend metropolitan services to the Mitchell local government area, including possible station locations.

61. Prepare for Melbourne Metro Two and direct Geelong rail services 

Within five years complete a business case for the Melbourne Metro Two Tunnel project, and protect the land required to construct it. Consider using the tunnel to re-route Geelong services direct to Southern Cross, and consider new stations or relocating existing stations. To shape demand for the project in the next five years, enable more intensive land use around the rail network, and introduce ‘next generation’ bus services between Newport and Fishermans Bend, and Victoria Park and Parkville. 

62. Protect a long-term option for a new cross-city motorway

Within five years, determine an updated future alignment and preserve the option for constructing, if required, a new motorway linking the Eastern Freeway and CityLink. If delivered, implement the project with a transport network pricing scheme, and active and public transport improvements.

3.2 Improve freight efficiency for industry competitiveness

63. Optimise capacity at the Port of Melbourne

Support efforts to progressively optimise the Port of Melbourne’s capacity, and actively take steps to manage amenity implications for community acceptance, as identified in our Advice on Securing Victoria’s Ports Capacity.

64. Act now to protect the future Bay West Port option

 Within the next five years, identify and secure land, and apply planning protection for transport corridors and buffers for a future Bay West Port, particularly for future road and rail connections. Monitor and report on the triggers to develop a new port, and commence and continue environmental assessment and monitoring over the next 30 years. Around 2040, begin detailed planning.

65. Deliver a new intermodal freight terminal for Inland Rail 

In the next year, determine the preferred new intermodal terminal and facilitate its delivery, transport links and the surrounding precinct to operate soon after the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project is completed. Progress planning for another intermodal freight terminal and precinct, and secure necessary land.

66. Construct an outer metropolitan road and rail corridor

Within two years, determine staging for the outer metropolitan rail and road corridor. Subject to detailed business cases, start construction of priority sections, starting with the E6 motorway by the end of this decade. Progressively stage corridor development for completion in the next 30 years. Provide a freight rail link to coincide with the opening of the Western Intermodal Freight Terminal.

3.3 Align social infrastructure with better service delivery

67. Co-design an Aboriginal community controlled infrastructure plan

In the next year, start a co-design process with Aboriginal Victorians to develop a plan to guide investment in Aboriginal community-controlled infrastructure to meet current and future social, economic and cultural needs.

68. Set targets to grow social housing 

In the next year, set a transparent statewide social housing growth target to reach and maintain at least the national average of 4.5 social housing dwellings for every 100 households by 2031. 

69. Build new hospital capacity

In the next five years, reserve land for future hospital sites. Over 30 years, build new public hospital capacity to meet Victoria’s future needs, especially increases in demand from Melbourne’s rapidly growing outer northern and western suburbs. 

70. Deliver infrastructure for a more responsive and integrated mental health system 

In the next year, establish a dedicated infrastructure fund to support more responsive and integrated mental health and wellbeing services, consistent with the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. 

71. Plan and consistently deliver corrections and youth justice infrastructure while managing demand with policy settings

Plan and consistently deliver corrections and youth justice infrastructure while managing demand. By 2023, undertake long-term corrections and youth justice infrastructure planning, alongside policy measures that reduce short-term volatility and demand. In the next 15 years, consistently deliver a program of corrections and youth justice infrastructure projects to meet long-term demand.

3.4 Plan for growth areas

72. Prioritise and oversee infrastructure delivery in growing communities 

In the next year, empower a government body to monitor infrastructure delivery in Victoria’s new growth areas and priority urban renewal precincts, and proactively advise on delivery sequencing and funding. In the next five years, develop program business cases for growth areas and precincts that consider timing, sequencing and funding of infrastructure.

73. Fund libraries and aquatic centres in growth areas 

In the next five years, increase funding to support local governments to plan and deliver libraries and aquatic recreation centres in Melbourne’s seven growth area municipalities.

74. Extend rail services in Melbourne’s western and northern growth areas

In the next two years, develop business cases to extend electrified metropolitan train services from Sunshine to Rockbank, from Craigieburn to Beveridge, and on the Wyndham Vale corridor, to be delivered by 2031. Deliver extra services to south-east Melbourne by running Rockbank services to Pakenham via the Melbourne Metro Tunnel. Consider adding extra stations on the Wyndham Vale and Melton corridors, and secure remaining land required for stations and stabling.

75. Link outer suburbs to rail with ‘next generation’ buses 

In the next year, introduce ‘next generation’ bus services towards Clyde, Mornington Peninsula, Wollert and Armstrong Creek. In the next five years, complete feasibility studies to plan the ultimate development of public transport services on these corridors and secure remaining land required.

76. Expand and upgrade Melbourne’s outer suburban road and bus networks

In the next 15 years, deliver a program of upgrades to Melbourne’s arterial road, freeway and bus networks beyond what is currently funded, focusing on congested roads and corridors in outer metropolitan and growth suburbs council areas.

77. Target 30% tree canopy coverage in new growth areas

Over the next 30 years, achieve 30% tree canopy coverage in new growth areas by mandating coverage during precinct development, funding relevant Victorian Government agencies and local government to plant, replace and maintain canopy trees, and work with utility providers to remove barriers to tree planting.

Section 04: Develop regional Victoria

4.1 Enhance regional market access and economic growth

78. Deliver long-term funding certainty for regional road maintenance and upgrades 

Within two years, specify clear levels of service for each type of regional road and bridge. Following this, dedicate a 10-year funding program to sustainably fund Victorian Government regional road and bridge maintenance and upgrades to meet these service levels. Funding should be prioritised based on improving safety, decreasing vehicle emissions, and lifting productivity.

79. Fund and plan for ongoing regional rail freight network development and maintenance

In the next year, fund a 30-year periodic regional freight rail maintenance program, informed by a publicly available network development and asset management plan. Using the plan, thoroughly determine the feasibility of the next major regional freight upgrade within five years.

80. Upgrade power supply for agriculture and regional industry 

In the next five years, contribute toward strategic power supply infrastructure upgrades for agriculture and regional industry, where an independent assessment demonstrates significant potential for increased productivity, competitiveness and growth. 

81. Plan for and facilitate regional nature-based tourism investments

In the next two years, develop a Victorian nature-based tourism strategy to guide industry development and prioritise further investments. During the next 15 years, support regional tourism investment by allowing more site-specific leases for up to 49 years for infrastructure proposals that meet strict criteria and complement environmental and cultural values.

82. Develop a Victorian Aboriginal tourism strategy with Aboriginal communities

Support and partner with Aboriginal communities in the next two years to guide future investments in Aboriginal tourism and cultural heritage, including through Joint Management Plans.

4.2 Better connect the regions

83. Redesign regional public transport to meet local needs

In the next five years, redesign existing regional transport services so they are integrated, based on regional needs assessments, and sustainably funded. Use significant technological and reform opportunities to deliver innovative service models that meet local needs.

84. Address regional Victoria’s digital connectivity gaps

In the next five years, continue delivering regional digital connectivity improvements, and monitor and review the need for further government investment following the roll-out of the Digital Future Now initiative.

85. Improve regional telecommunications infrastructure resilience

In the next five years, develop more resilient regional telecommunications infrastructure so communities can stay safe during emergencies, including better mobile coverage, back-up systems and power supply, and emergency mobile roaming.

86. Fund regional libraries to provide better internet access

In the next year, start a five-year funding program for libraries in regional towns and rural areas to improve community access to fast, free internet services, leveraging existing library infrastructure. 

87. Use rural schools for children’s specialist and allied telehealth services

Retrofit or better use selected rural school infrastructure for children’s specialist and allied telehealth services to improve children’s health and development. In the next year, begin a trial in a remote region, such as Wimmera Southern Mallee, to demonstrate the value of adopting the approach in other rural locations.

4.3 Foster regional Victorians’ health, wellbeing and inclusion

88. Deliver multipurpose shared social service facilities in the regions 

In the next year, start regional planning for social services to identify opportunities for multipurpose shared services facilities, then deliver them where appropriate, over the next five years, in partnership with local governments and community organisations. 89. Update community infrastructure Fund regional councils in the next five years to update, repurpose or retire outdated community infrastructure for better service delivery. 

90. Create climate-adapted facilities for rural communities

In the next five years, fund local governments to plan and help deliver a network of designated, accessible climate-adapted community facilities, to manage the health impacts of extreme heat and bushfire smoke.

91. Build regional residential alcohol and drug rehabilitation facilities

Within five years, build residential detoxification and rehabilitation facilities in regional Victoria to provide equitable access to alcohol and other drug treatment.

92. Fund more Youth Foyers in regional Victoria

Fund at least six new Youth Foyers in regional Victoria by 2026, to better use existing education infrastructure and support vulnerable young people.

93. Expand social housing in regional centres, in locations with good access

Focus social housing investments in regional centres, near transport and services, for better access to health, social and economic support.

94. Make social housing suitable for changing local climates

Continue to deliver a long-term program of modifying social housing to be climate resilient by improving the energy efficiency and energy affordability of residences.

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