Media Release

15 November 2016

Guy: Victorian Population Policy Taskforce

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Victorian Population Policy Taskforce

Today the Liberal Nationals launched the Victorian Population Policy Taskforce with the panel of independent specialists with a wide range of expertise and backgrounds.

The panel will now commence the process of engaging and consulting with the Victorian community and various stakeholders as well as tapping into their own experiences to produce a comprehensive set of recommendations to make Victoria a state of cities.

A series of suburban and regional forums, as well as road shows will be held, to listen to the Victorian community so we develop a holistic plan for managing our population growth.

The interim report is due in the first half of next year.

The members of the panel include:

Dr Bob Birrell is one of Australia’s foremost sociologists and authorities on demography. An academic at Monash University since 1970, Dr Birrell established and presided over the University’s famous Centre for Population and Urban Research (CPUR) from 1991 to 2011. During this time, its journal People and Place helped to set the agenda on population and demography issues. More recently, Dr Birrell became President of The Australian Population Research Institute (TAPRI).

Asher Judah is a public policy expert who covers areas such as planning, construction, population growth, cities, taxation and agriculture.  After stints at the Victorian Farmers Federation and the Master Builders Association of Victoria, Mr Judah joined the Property Council of Australia as their Deputy Executive Director.  Mr Judah is a widely published futurist and is the author of the public policy book, The Australian Century. He tweets at @asherjudah.

David Matthews was involved in the establishment of the 305-strong branch network of Community Bank branches. During this time, as co-chair of the Community Bank Strategic Advisory Board, he was also appointed to the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Board. An agribusiness operator and exporter, Mr Matthews has made a significant contribution to rural banking.

Jane Nathan is synonymous with local government. Ms Nathan’s expertise in local government spans three decades, first as Councillor and Mayor for the City of Hawthorn, before becoming a Commissioner of Brimbank Council in 1994. More recently, she returned to Brimbank as an Administrator following the dissolution of the Council in 2009. In addition to her work in local government, Ms Nathan is President of the Australian Population Institute, a Life Fellow of the Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association and was awarded the prestigious Richard J Evan’s Award for Excellence in Planning in 2014.   Ms Nathan was the first woman Committee Member of the Melbourne Cricket Club.

David Payes began his career as a practising lawyer and held academic appointments at Melbourne and Monash Universities before establishing Intrapac Property, of which he is Managing Director. Intrapac, a company specialising in high quality residential land developments, relies on demographic analysis to pinpoint population growth.  Mr Payes is Immediate Past President and now a Councillor of the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s (UDIA) Victorian division.

Prof Jason Potts is an economic theorist who specialises in problems of economic growth and change. He work in areas of economic evolution, technological change, institutional economics, economics of innovation, economics of cities, and the economics of cultural and creative industries. His current research focuses on innovation in the commons, and on global innovation policy. Prof Potts is a Professor of Economics at RMIT University.

Joanna Stanley has many years of experience in community representation, urban planning matters and planning policy reform. As founder of the Brunswick Residents Action Group, Ms Stanley successfully advocated for the appropriate redevelopment of the derelict Tip Top Bakery site in Brunswick East which saw vital heritage components retained and community benefits added.

Peter Tesdorpf is a consultant in regional development, urban affairs planning and local government, with 40 years professional experience. Mr Tesdorpf is a former Victorian President of the Planning Institute, a Committee Member of the Rail Futures Institute, played a key role in establishing several regional development organisations in Victoria and NSW, and was a former Director of a regional organisation of Councils. He is Principal of Peter Tesdorpf and Assoicates Australia.

Every year more than 100,000 people make Victoria home, with almost 92,000 of these people moving to Melbourne.

This affects every aspect of our daily lives, with services cracking under the pressure, and people are spending more time sitting in traffic and away from their families because our roads are congested, and our trains, trams and buses overcrowded.

Managing the explosion in our population is the biggest challenge facing Victoria today but also an incredibly exciting opportunity.

With Melbourne bursting at the seams, there’s never been a more vital time to look to regional Victoria.

We need to regionalise our growth, and not just focus on Melbourne alone. We cannot continue to grow the way we have the past 30 years for the next 30 years.

Victoria may be getting bigger but only the Liberal Nationals will ensure that our state will be a better place to live for all Victorians.

Read the discussion paper here: