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Thursday, 13 September 1973
Page: 938

Mr OLDMEADOW (HOLT, VICTORIA) - My question, which is directed to the Minister for Urban and Regional Development, relates to the plan of the Berwick Council to establish a metro-town in the Berwick area. Is the Minsiter aware that it was reported recently in the Victorian Press that the Berwick Council had asked the Victorian Government to freeze land prices in the area around the Berwick township imme- diately? As the Minister is aware, the Berwick Council has carried out extensive feasibility planning in relation to a metro-town in that area. What are the prerequisites for the Australian Government to become involved in supporting the Berwick Council in its metrotown project?

Mr UREN - I am aware that the Berwick Council wants to create a metro-town with a population of something like 70,000 on the south-eastern corridor. Basically this is a good concept. Discussions have taken place between the Australian Government and the Victorian Government. We have sought a stabilisation of land prices before any decision is made. Unless this area, which is a rather beautiful area, is contained it will be badly ruptured by land speculators and by ad hoc development. Therefore we are seeking the co-operation of the Victorian Government. In the near future there will be discussions between the Minister for Local Government, Mr Hunt, and myself, and certain decisions will be made in regard to growth areas, whether they be systems cities - that means cities that will be developed on the fringes of Melbourne - or regional growth centres, which also will be discussed with the Minister for State Development and Decentralisation, Mr Murray Byrne. So I will be talking with 2 Ministers in Victoria. The prerequisite will be stabilisation of land prices before any major study is undertaken. When the study is completed a decision can be made in consultation between the 2 Governments on whether to develop these areas.

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