Published on Mornington Peninsula News Group website, 27 May 2013.
MORNINGTON Peninsula’s population is expected to increase by more than 30,000 people in the next two decades and almost half will be retired people.
Immediate initiatives in the Mornington Peninsula Shire’s proposed 2013-14 budget, released in mid-May, will contribute to a number of long-term plans to accommodate the growth.
The shire’s corporate planning manager, Niall McDonagh, said the budget responds to key elements in the draft strategic plan, also released this month.
“The strategic plan sits over everything,” he said.
“While it doesn’t set out the details of the budget, it sets out the parameters.”
The shire’s strategic planning manager, Allan Cowley, said each shire department contributed to budget planning.
“All departments have ongoing programs and ideas. We all suggest
potential projects but the council has to decide priorities.
“Essentially the budget reflects this.”
Mr McDonagh said the Plan Peninsula community consultation meetings in 2012 contributed significantly to the development of the draft strategic plan and budget.
Growth and population forecasts were an important factor for both documents, he said.
“We have to make sure we are planning for where we are going to get those increases.”
Council has considered a range of figures from census data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
According to the data, the current population of the peninsula was estimated at 152,981. It is predicted this will grow to 185,702 by 2031.
The over-60s age group is expected to grow by more than 15,000 by 2031.
Mr Cowley said the first impact of an ageing population was a demand for aged care facilities.
“We’re getting more retirement village developments in Mornington, which is consistent with current demands,” he said.
Mr Cowley said demographic profiling enabled the shire to provide appropriate services for the public.
“That’s something we coordinate with social planning services.
“We need to see how different towns already stack up for access to services.”
The strategic plan key goals to “improve community facilities” and promote “healthy, safe and connected communities” highlight the shire’s age-specific and family initiatives.
Mr Cowley said housing development was a major project for the shire in the coming year.
He said the shire had received input from the state government on housing initiatives such as the Southern Regional Housing Statement, which would ensure development occurred in the right areas.
“We need to accommodate projected growth over the period to 2030,” Mr Cowley said.
“It’s a question of whether [housing] is matching up with the changing population and age profile.”
Current projections estimate significant growth will occur in the Mornington, Moorooduc and Tuerong areas, with 2289 new dwellings expected by 2031.
The Rosebud, Rosebud West, McCrae, Boneo, Fingal and Cape Schanck areas would have an estimated 16,240 dwellings by 2031.
Mr Cowley said growth areas need to be considered individually.
“We often say it’s not a ‘one size fits all’. The shire has a very strong
commitment to [maintaining] urban growth boundaries.”
He said growth and development in peninsula townships must occur in line with individual qualities and natural landscape.
“We don’t necessarily use the phrase ‘urban design’ because it implies urban and suburban development,” he said.
“We’re trying to look at each town and establish what’s important to its character.”
The strategic plan’s “Liveable Peninsula” goal aims to protect and promote region-specific development that recognises local heritage and landscape.
“Enhancing public places and spaces” and “improving community facilities” were strategic plan goals that aimed to provide services and amenities accessible to all residents.
The shire invites public submissions on the draft strategic plan and proposed budget, both of which are available on its website, mornpen.vic.gov.au
Article also published in print: Mornington News, 27 May, 2013.