In response to the series of Residential Zones State of Play reports[1] prepared by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Master Builders Association of Victoria (Master Builders) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the process and application of the residential zones that were introduced in 2013.

This submission provides an overview of the three new zones and then establishes the context within which the impact of these zones should be analysed: Melbourne’s (and Victoria’s) forecast population growth; and the housing affordability crisis. 

To be consistent with the terms of the reference of the Managing Residential Development Advisory Committee (MRDAC), the submission is divided into three sections:
1. the process by which the new residential zones were implemented;
2. the current application of zones that allow for residential development; 
3. the level of evidence and justification needed when preparing relevant planning scheme amendments; and
4. improvements to the residential zones: minimum building heights and as of right permitted uses.

This submission also codified ‘as-of-right’ processes as a broader improvement to the zoning system which we believe could ease pressure from the system, streamline the planning application process and ultimately reduce costs associated with the planning and building process. 
The submission focuses mostly on Melbourne’s residential growth, because from Master Builders members’ perspective that is where the zones are considered to be having the most concerning impact.