Q. Why is Council undertaking a precinct plan for McMillan Street?
Facility audits and multi-agency discussions have identified that some buildings are showing signs of failure and that there is some duplication of current services and programs across facilities. The Department of Jobs Skills, Industry and Regions (DJSIR) Investment Fast Track funding provides the opportunity to improve the integration and functionality of key health, education and community services and test a model of the inclusion of an affordable housing development for key workers within the precinct.
Q. Why consider including affordable housing for key workers in the precinct?
Many businesses in Anglesea are unable to attract and retain workers due to a lack of affordable accommodation. Many employees have to make lengthy commutes to their jobs in Anglesea. Businesses who cannot find staff are having to reduce their hours of operation which impacts their income and makes it harder for residents to access a range of shops and services locally.
Key workers provide vital services to the community in services like health, education, community safety, etc. as well as services to residents and visitors that are important for the local economy in sectors such as retail, hospitality accommodation, etc.
Key workers typically earn low to moderate incomes and are frequently required to work outside of regular business hours or be available at short notice.
Q. What level of influence will community have?
There are community representatives at each level of the governance structure including the Project Control Group, Project Steering Group and Community Reference Group and community members will have the chance to provide input during each phase of the project. This includes initial community engagement activities that aim to understand infrastructure and service needs and preferences.
The Draft Precinct Plan was informed by extensive engagement with community, stakeholders and Traditional Owners. This opening phase of consultation consisted of:
- Walk on Country with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation.
- Two community drop-ins capturing input from 46 attendees.
- Eight meetings with representatives from two Project Reference Groups - health services, facility managers and precinct users.
- A survey (online and hard copy options) capturing input from 125 respondents.
The second phase of engagement invites feedback until 29 November 2023. You can have your say by:
- Attending the Open Day on 17 November and provide feedback
- Completing this survey online. If you would like a hard copy of the survey, please let us know.
- Emailing feedback or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mailing feedback to: Surf Coast Shire Council, PO Box 350 Torquay VIC 3228
- Dropping in your feedback to Council office: 1 Merrijig Drive, Torquay.
The draft plan is open for community feedback which will help us progress to an updated draft plan and cost plan. A final community-endorsed precinct plan and funding strategy would then be used to attract future investment to bring the plan to life.
Q. Who will represent the community’s diverse range of interests and experiences?
Anglesea Community and Health Hub (ACHH) land owners and their lessees, auspice groups, etc., service/program providers, ACHH users and broader community.
Q. Why this site?
The precinct planning process will enable a transformative placemaking and infrastructure project that will improve the integration and functionality of key health, education and community services at this vital community hub; and test a model for the inclusion of affordable housing for key workers, supporting employment and the local and regional economy.
The Council and Barwon Health owned site is large – approx. 14,000m2. It is within the settlement boundaries, it is partially zoned residential and any proposed community, health and housing facilities would be developed to be consistent with the character of surrounding built form. Additionally, the site is close to shops and services, employment hubs, open green space and public transport.
Q. What will the community engagement inform?
Among other aspects of the precinct planning process, community engagement will provide input on:
- The needs and aspirations of all precinct service providers and users
- Management and delivery models
- Master planning of infrastructure and open space requirements, their integration and their connection to external enablers, for example transport.
Q. What did the first phase of engagement tell you?
The findings of the first phase of community engagement, along with a site and service criticality assessments, have been captured in the Anglesea Community and Health Hub Situation Analysis. The Situation Analysis (accessed via the document library section below) has informed the development of the draft precinct plan.
Q. What will the process deliver and how long will it take?
We aim to have a community-endorsed precinct plan, funding strategy and implementation plan to submit to the Department of Jobs Skills, Industry and Regions (DJSIR) in early 2024.
Q. What is the difference between social and affordable housing?
• Affordable housing is a broad term which includes social housing.
• The term social housing includes public housing, which is state owned and managed housing, and community housing.
• Community housing is housing provided by a registered housing agency or association registered under the Housing Act 1983, or a community housing provider.
• Both social and affordable housing build in, to differing extents, elements of eligibility and subsidy usually set through government policy.
Q. Who would be eligible to live in the affordable housing?
Local housing need will inform the design of the affordable housing development, as well as key aspects of its management, such as eligibility and level of subsidy.
A starting point for exploration of eligibility and subsidy would be Homes Victoria’s Affordable Housing Rental Scheme [link: Affordable Housing Rental Scheme | Homes Victoria] In regional Victoria, eligibility for an Affordable Housing Rental Scheme (AHRS) property includes being a worker in an essential government funded service’. People working as nurses, police, teachers and care workers and earning under the specified income threshold would be eligible for AHRS housing.
However, it is worth noting that 35% (approx. 3,300) of jobs in the Surf Coast Shire are based in tourism. Hospitality, accommodation and retail businesses are among those industries experiencing the most severe workforce shortages.
Q. How would you ensure that the affordable housing is only for key workers?
While the delivery and management model for the affordable housing for key workers is still be investigated, Council will seek to partner with an entity legally able to manage affordable housing. Affordable Housing, defined under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 Section 3, is housing that is affordable, ie, no more than 30% of the income, to low and moderate earning households.
The Planning and Environment Act doesn’t define ‘key worker’. Key workers are often described as an employee who provides a vital service, especially in the essential services, health, or education sectors. However, in our region the definition encompasses a range of occupations including providers of services to residents such as including teachers, doctors, nurses, health care workers, pharmacists and council staff; as well as providers of services to visitors including hospitality, tourism, retail workers; and workers in key local industries including agriculture and renewable energy, forestry, mining and construction.
Q. Is the proposed area for affordable housing zoned appropriately?
The current zoning for the site allows for residential development and community and health facilities. Once a concept plan is finalised the appropriate process for planning approval will be determined.