Victoria approves more ‘shovel-ready’ projects to kick-start economy

The Victorian government has given seven projects the nod to begin construction as the latest step in the state’s ‘shovel-ready’ economic recovery plan. Worth more than $1.1 billion, the projects include dual-tower residential projects and a solar farm, and the state government’s Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce have pushed these projects to join the five others given fast-track approval in May.

The original fast-track gave approval at five projects worth $1.2 billion. The first round of approvals included Charter Hall’s $290 million 21-storey office building at 140 Lonsdale Street, a $234 million 68-storey residential development at 640 Bourke Street and a $180 million Skidmore, an Owings & Merrill and Fender Katsalidis-designed hotel with 288 rooms at 600 Lonsdale Street, and a 20-storey tower comprising near 17,000 sqm of office space, to be be built between 683-699 Elizabeth Street along with a $60 million residential development on the former Commonwealth Games village site at 67-81 Galada Avenue in Parkville. The new Chater Hall building will become the Melboune headquarters of the Australian Federal Police.

The second round of approvals include a wider range of projects. The latest shovel-ready projects include Lendlease’s $291 million, two-tower residential development in Docklands at 938 Collins Street, comprising 668 apartments when complete. This is the part of a five-tower project located at the Collins Wharf development. A solar farm at Kennedys Creek worth $200 million, located five kilometres north-east of Benalla has also been given the nod, along with developer BPG’s $250 million development at 31 Station Street Caulfield, which has reached its third stage. The Caulfield Village mixed-use development includes a build-to-rent scheme, retail and office space. Other projects given the go-ahead include the two multi-storey apartment buildings at 103-109 and 115-117 Boundary Road in North Melbourne with retail and office space, valued at $41.2 million. Plans for the City of Greater Geelong’s new $220 million Civic Precinct have been fast-tracked.

The goal behind these projects, as is the case with similar fast-tracking in New South Wales, is to put money back into the economy quickly. The goal is to create over 3,700 jobs across supply chains, and this second round of approvals puts the Victorian government near the end of its $2.7 billion building works package.

Minister for planning Richard Wynne said the priority approvals would assist the industry through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic.

“Victoria remains open for business and our dedicated Taskforce is making sure a pipeline of projects continue to stimulate the economy and create jobs.”

Written: 31 July 2020

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