The Hon Daniel Andrews MP
Office of the Premier
No 1 Treasury Place
15th December 2014
I am writing to congratulate you on your recent election success and to introduce the Inner Melbourne Planning Alliance Inc. (IMPA Inc).
We were established in 2013 as a non-partisan, NFP organisation, out of concern about poor planning processes within the inner Melbourne area. Through our previous discussions with Shadow Minister Brian Tee, we understand that this new government genuinely seeks to improve the way our city is planned and IMPA can assist with this aim.
We strongly promote the introduction of an evidence-based, participatory planning process, for the creation of economically, socially and environmentally sustainable urban environments.
True participation means that communities work alongside developers, planners and design professionals to decide the future shape of their city and this pragmatic process is gaining widespread international support. Rather than a linear, top-down system, significant decisions are made through a series of iterative negotiations, where all parties share responsibility for the outcomes from the very beginning.
IMPA currently brings together ten established, inner Melbourne community associations, as well as industry groups, representing a combined membership of over 3,350 people who live and/or work in the inner suburban areas of Melbourne. We are led by a unique group of people from different professional backgrounds, with expertise and a shared passion for transparent and effective planning systems. In 2014, we organised a public forum in Federation Square, called “City in Crisis?” where, community members, developers, planners, the Property Council and the outgoing Government Architect came together to voice their shared concerns and aspirations.
IMPA will continue in 2015 with its ongoing education program about the importance of good planning and the range of ways in which it can be achieved.
As a group, IMPA inc is currently exploring three significant areas where we can potentially contribute to the reform agenda:
1. The formation of a truly Independent Planning Authority and Infrastructure Body, with a focus on long-term integrated, evidence-based planning solutions, that include community representation;
2. Long-term, visionary planning requires the introduction of more detailed statutory mechanisms—flexible enough to evolve but clear enough to control quality—that will secure social infrastructure, housing affordability, a higher quality public realm, protection of valued heritage and housing design standards;
3. A review of the planning appeal process to make it more effective and transparent.
We are all truly proud of this great city, and we believe it deserves the protection of a robust and transparent planning system, where its future is not determined by any single person or group. Perhaps lasting reform will become the hallmark of this government and we can begin by discussing some of the above points in person, and in more detail, in the New Year.
For now, we wish you, your family and your colleagues a very Merry Christmas and an inspired 2015.