By Matthew Sims
Cardinia Council has expressed concerns with plans to delay the development of industrial land and critical infrastructure in Officer South.
The Victorian Government’s planning strategy Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 promises to deliver jobs closer to where people live, however the Victorian Planning Authority’s (VPA) proposed staging plan for the Officer South employment precinct prioritises additional housing over jobs and infrastructure.
The council said Cardinia Shire already has an established pipeline of housing supply, however industrial land is at an all-time low.
They want industrial land and enabling infrastructure to be delivered first – if it’s not, they say it risks the creation of up to 22,000 new jobs in the Officer South employment precinct, entrenching disadvantage and congestion by forcing residents to travel outside the region for work.
Westernport Ward councillor Kaye Cameron moved a motion at the Monday 20 November council meeting, which stated jobs should be the first priority of the Officer South employment precinct, and the development of industrial land and new transport infrastructure such as the extension of Thompsons Road should be delivered before further housing development.
Officer Ward councillor Tammy Radford said with population growth increasing to four new households in the area each calendar day, the council needed to focus on ensuring there was appropriate infrastructure to supply jobs close to people’s homes.
“This is really exciting, but the services and infrastructure have not kept up with the growth,” she said.
“Employment needs to be a priority.
“They deserve not to be disadvantaged anymore.”
Stronger links to the Princes Freeway, Thompsons Road and to the surrounding arterial road network would open key gateways to the Dandenong National Employment and Innovation Cluster (NEIC), a potential future south-east airport and the Port of Hastings.
According to REMPLAN, a data provider and analyst company, upgrading and extending Thompsons Road would facilitate the creation of 140,000 jobs and increase economic output by more than $58 billion for the South East Region.
The precinct structure plan for the Officer South Employment Precinct is expected to be finalised in late 2024.