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2018 has been a big year for the development industry and it’s been no different for ratio: as well. It’s an opportune time to look back on the events of 2018 and reflect on what makes our industry so dynamic and exciting.
The State election was perhaps the biggest of the big news with the lead up filled with the blame game on immigration and congestion, the reintroduction of the two dwelling density limitation in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone and of course, the monster announcement regarding the suburban rail loop. Whatever your political persuasion, stability and consistency are the key factors for our industry and the reputation that the Daniel Andrew’s Labor Government has for “following through and getting things done” was a clear vote winner. Presumably, we as consultants in the industry and our clients, can proceed with decision making and advice into 2019 knowing that radical changes to the regulatory framework are unlikely in the near future.
VC148 brought about wholesale changes to the formatting of the Victorian Planning Provisions, the jury is still out on whether these reforms have genuinely created positive and streamlined changes to the planning system, perhaps with the exception of the introduction of the Principal Public Transport Network. If nothing else, it’s certainly kept most of us on our toes searching for where clauses in the planning scheme have moved to. Misquoting clause numbers in the planning scheme is likely to be a part of everyone’s future in 2019, but fortunately the good will and humour in these mistakes are genuine, even at VCAT.
The Fishermans Bend Review Panel took up almost everyone’s focus and we await with bated breath to see how the uplift provisions for affordable housing are accepted by developers and the market and whether they’re integrated into developments.
It’s been a big year for ratio: with two key campaigns regarding Autonomous Vehicles and Affordable Housing. It was a pleasure for the Directors to watch our staff share their ideas and solutions on key issues and opportunities within the development industry. We also learnt that, not only are there significant social justice and equity issues to be resolved through reducing congestion and increasing housing affordability, but there are considerable business opportunities such as uplift, density bonuses and build to rent reforms for our clients.
We’ve had the pleasure of working on an exciting array of projects throughout the year, both big and small. From level crossing removals, Nightingale, the Kinnears ‘Live City’ site, Yarra Valley Country Club in Bulleen and the Little Creatures Brewery in Geelong, we are privileged to work on a broad range of project with clients that respect our advice and achieve great results. We are also proud to be a part of the pro bono team for the Victorian Pride Centre in St Kilda and look forward to continuing our involvement with the Asylum Seeker Refugee Centre in Dandenong
For ratio: itself, we continue to grow from strength-to-strength with our move to Cremorne, and new Directors Hilary Marshall, Robbie McKenzie and Jason Sellars making their mark as we now hit 70 staff at the end of 2018.
We wish to thank our clients and colleagues for their continuous support throughout the year and look forward to working together and achieving positive results to make our incredible city and state more successful in 2019.
Wishing you and your family a safe and happy Christmas along with a great new year!