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Your Budget 2017-18

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Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability

Fact Sheet 1.3 - Unlocking Commonwealth Land

The Government is committed to making housing more affordable and increasing the supply of new housing. That is why the Commonwealth is making sure its surplus land holdings are put to better use, including for the development of residential housing.

The issue

The Government is actively contributing to the supply of housing by disposing of land that is suitable for residential housing and no longer required by the Commonwealth, beginning with surplus Defence land at Maribyrnong in Melbourne.

The Government is developing a public, online registry of its land holdings. This will allow other levels of government, private businesses and community groups to bring forward proposals to put the land to better use, including for housing development. The Government is looking to State, Territory and local governments to do the same.

The details

Using surplus land for housing

The Government is committed to making underutilised and surplus Commonwealth land available for housing and city shaping outcomes.

The Government will divest 127 hectares of surplus Defence land in Maribyrnong – less than 10 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD. This land, once remediated, is large enough to develop up to 6,000 new homes.

The Government is committed to working with the Victorian Government and the Maribyrnong City Council to ensure the development includes an appropriate share of social and affordable housing and that it is properly serviced by supporting infrastructure.

The Government recognises that the Maribyrnong site has cultural and social heritage value and that a range of Defence activities were conducted on the site over several decades.

A Heritage Plan has been prepared and a number of its historical features will be integrated into the new development.

Remediation of the site including repair or removal of deteriorating buildings and contaminants needs to undertaken before the site can be developed. As such, it may be some years before the construction of new homes commences.

A Commonwealth land registry

The Government recognises that openness and transparency can support better decision making and ensure that Commonwealth land is put to its most effective use.

From 1 December 2017, the Government will publish a registry of the Commonwealth's land holdings online, including mapping their locations.

This registry will create opportunities for stakeholders and the public to propose better use of Commonwealth land — whether this might be to deliver more houses, community amenities, key services or employment hubs.

Defence Site Maribyrnong, Melbourne

Overhead view of the defence site at Maribyrnong

Questions and answers

Isn't Defence site Maribyrnong contaminated?

  • Yes. This is why the Government is committed to further investigating and cleaning up the contaminants and hazards on the site.
  • This is important not only for future residents but for people who will work on the site during development and also for local businesses and people who work or live in the area. Removal of the highest risk hazards will be led by the Department of Defence.

When will the Maribyrnong defence site be sold?

  • The Department of Defence will commence a process of market testing later in 2017 to invite potential options for sale, remediation and future development.

How long will it take to develop the site?

  • Remediation of the site could take several years. Development could commence following the removal of the most hazardous materials from the site.

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