On Wednesday 23 August 2017, the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) released the report Effectively Planning for Population Growth. The audit assesses how Victorian state planning is meeting the needs of our rapidly growing population, especially in regards to the provision of birthing, maternal and child health (MCH) and funded kindergarten services.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) forecasts that Victoria’s population will increase at unprecedented rates over the coming years to reach a high of 7.7 million people by 2031, with over 6 million of those people living in Greater Melbourne. The audit recognises the increasing pressures of this population growth on the greenfield areas around Melbourne identifying seven key areas.
The report highlights the importance of planning in understanding where the growth is occurring with particular emphasis on the timely provision of birthing, maternal and child health (MCH) and funded kindergarten services. VAGO developed eleven key recommendations through auditing the following agencies:
VAGO’s key findings were in relation to strategic land use planning and implementation arrangements, strategic service planning including birthing services, maternal and child health services, funded kindergarten services, and the collection of state wide service planning information.
A total of eleven recommendations come out of the audit and report – six directed at DELWP, one at the VPA, one at the DHHS and three directed at DET; which all agencies openly accepted.
Broadly, the recommendations relate to the review, delivery and implementation of Precinct Structure Planning. In particular, the effective delivery of services and creating efficient legislative mechanisms through the various agencies.
If you would like to read more about VAGO’s audit and get a free copy of their report go to: https://www.audit.vic.gov.au/report/effectively-planning-population-growth.