Main Page Archive

December 1999 - November 2002

2002

Liberals' commitments costed, affordable, responsible

The Liberal Party says its election policies are costed, affordable and responsible, achieving a budget surplus of at least $100 million over each year of the forward estimates period, with an average surplus of $197 million, and with capital commitments totalling $1.7 billion on the forward estimates period. (28 Nov)

Liberals' plan for socially responsible gaming

The Liberal Party's gaming policy sets a target of halving the level of losses from problem gambling on Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs) through a comprehensive player protection system, using player protection cards or other means to limit the total amount a gambler is able to lose in any month or year on gaming machines across any venue in Victoria. (27 Nov - see The Liberal Plan for Socially Responsible Gaming (MS Word))

Liberals to give stamp duty relief

The Liberal Party has promised if elected to cut stamp duty stamp duty on all purchases of property of $580,000 or less, providing a stamp duty reduction for around 90% of residential property purchasers and cutting more than $1,000 off the cost of a median priced Melbourne house (22 Nov - see Stamp Duty - Time for relief (MS Word))

ALP campaign launch fails to disclose financial facts

The Premier's campaign launch failed to tell voters that Victoria's economy is forecast by State and Commonwealth Treasury Departments to fall below the national growth rate this financial year, that future budget surpluses have been revised downward the in Pre-Election Budget Update, that Labor's spending is rising faster than income and that only windfall tax gains kept the budget out of the red last year, nor did it explain how the Government was going to sustain its spending without increasing taxes, according to the Liberal Party. (18 Nov)

Economist warns that surplus requires spending restraint

The Liberal Party says that Dr Ed Shann's warning on ABC TV news that the Budget surplus depends on considerable restraint in spending over future years is spot on - the problem is that Labor just can't control its spending. On budget forecasts, over the next four years expenditure will increase by $2 billion but income will rise by only $1.7 billion. (16 Nov)

Figures confirm Labor can't control its spending

Pre-Election Budget Update figures show that since the May Budget Labor has blown out spending by $637 million and confirm the Auditor-General's warning that if Labor's spending blowouts continue any economic downturn will put at risk the Government's capacity to continue existing programs, according to the Liberal Party. (15 Nov)

Labor must publish its election costings

The Liberal Party has called on the ALP to publish its election policy costings on its web site as the Liberal Party has done, particularly since Labor is claiming that many of its policies will be paid for out of existing funds (11 Nov)

Liberals' plan for a fairer WorkCover system

The Liberal Party WorkCover policy proposes to will reduce costs to employers and provide better help for injured workers through a five point plan to assist and reward safety improvements, introduce a fairer premium system, allow employers to take greater responsibility for claims handling, provide better support for workers with ongoing injuries, and tackle rorting and abuse. (1 Nov - see The Liberal Plan for a Fairer WorkCover (pdf))

Brumby's overseas share market punt goes wrong

The State Opposition has revealed that Treasurer, John Brumby, appears to have cost Victorian taxpayers millions of dollars through a May 2001 authorisation of Victorian public sector superannuation funds and other public bodies increasing their investments in overseas shares and other assets to up to 40 per cent of their total investment portfolios, up from a previous limit of 30 per cent. (16 Oct)

Unfunded liabilities still under wraps

The State Opposition has renewed its call for disclosure of superannuation losses, pointing out that buget figures show that for every 1% fall in domestic and
international equity prices the state budget loses $49 million and that etween 30 June and 30 September, Australian share prices dropped by 6.5% and US share prices by around 17%. (10 Oct)

Government rejects key amendment to public liability Bill

The Government has rejected an Opposition amendment to its public liability Bill which would have prevented legal actions for minor injuries being brought against accredited operators of recreational activities. (9 Oct)

Liberals release public liability and insurance reform package

The Liberal Opposition has released a package of reforms for public liability and insurance, including targeting the large number of exaggerated or unjustified claims for minor injuries. (9 Sep) (pdf)

Government amends HIH Bill to meet Opposition concerns

The State Government has accepted Opposition concerns about retrospectively removing rights given to building owners under the HIH rescue package and has amended the Bill to include provisions preventing the Bill from applying retrospectively to claims lodged before the Bill was introduced to Parliament. (7 June)

Budget spending fails to deliver results

Misdirected spending, poor priorities and budget blowouts meant that services to Victorians had deteriorated or remained unchanged despite increased spending by
the Bracks Government, the State Opposition said in its official budget reply given in State Parliament. (16 May)

Budget: the tax slug continues

The State Budget shows record tax levels set to be collected next financial year, totalling a $2,717 million increase since the Bracks Government came to office, approaching $1,500 for every Victorian household after allowing for taxes replaced by the GST. (7 May)

Labor's business statement brings little joy

The State Opposition says that even after the Bracks Government's business statement, the Government is proposing to give only $190 million of so-called tax cuts in 2002-03, compared with an ongoing tax level more than $1.7 billion higher than when it came to office, and the statement gives nothing back toVictorian homebuyers who have been slugged with a 79% increase in the stamp duty take. (22 Apr)

Mid-year report confims high taxing and spending

Victoria's 2001-02 Mid-Year Financial Report shows the Bracks Government has continued its high taxing and uncontrolled spending in the six months to December 2001, and confirms that if it were not for almost $1 billion in unbudgeted revenue, the 2001-02 budget would now be almost $200 million in deficit. (15 Mar)

Home warranty cuts follow Government delay

The cuts to home buyers' warranty protection announced by the Bracks Government are in large part the result of the Government's failure to act last year to tackle problems with building industry regulation emerging following the HIH collapse, according to the State Opposition. (13 Mar)

Concern over WorkCover private investigator tender

The Opposition has raised in Parliament the handling of a tender process for private investigators by the Victorian Workcover Authority (VWA), saying companies and individuals with no previous experience or expertise in Workcover investigations have been appointed and reputable and competent firms have been dropped, with many jobs being placed at risk. (28 Feb)

Opposition releases public liability proposals

The Victorian Opposition has released a package of proposals to help tackle the problems caused by rising public liability insurance costs, including both short term actions and longer term reform options for the State Government to help businesses and community organisations. (24 Feb)

2001

Report card shows rising taxes and unemployment

The State Opposition has released an assessment of the Government's economic performance showing an increase of 16,300 in unemployment since the Bracks Government took office, an increase in taxes per head compared with the national average, a 10% increase in government employee entitlements in 2000-01 and a decline in the performance of the public financial corporations sector from a surplus of $345.4 million in 1999-00 to a deficit of $550.8 million in 2000/01. (30 Nov)

Injured worker ripoff on lump sum payouts

Seriously injured workers will be entitled to cash in their future rights to receive weekly benefit payments in exchange for a lump sum payout under a Bill before Parliament. However, the maximum lump sum payout being offered totals less than one-and-a-half years of weekly payments. (22 Nov)

Lowest growth since Cain and Kirner

State Accounts figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show Victoria's growth rate has slumped to 2.4% in 2000-01, the lowest rate since 1991-92 when the Victorian economy contracted by 2.3%. (16 Nov)

End to Winter Power Bonus helps push Victoria to Australia's highest inflation rate

The Bracks Government's decision not to extend the Winter Power Bonus has been the main factor leading to Victoria having the highest inflation rate in Australia for the September quarter. Melbourne electricity prices increased by 7.6 per cent for the September quarter, and by 9.5 per cent for the year. In contrast, Sydney electricity prices increased by only 1.1 per cent for the quarter, and fell by 0.2 per cent for the year. (24 Oct)

State's financial results confirm high taxes

The State Opposition says that the State's annual financial results confirm that the Bracks Government has been reaping enormous taxation increases from the strong economy and housing sector created by the Howard Government's low interest rates and First Home Owners Grant, and that the Government has scope to implement a 0.5% payroll tax cut in order to stimulate confidence and stem the exodus of jobs to other states. (24 Oct)

2000-01 budget surplus confirmed

The Victorian Government budget sector operating surplus for 2000-01 was $1,217 million - a slight increase on the revised estimate of $1,199 million published in the May budget, and the Treasurer believes GSP growth for 2000-01 will be 2.5 per cent, above the national growth of 1.9 per cent. (24 Oct)

Another media launch, but few projects

The Opposition says the Infrastructure Planning Council was more than four months late in releasing its interim report, which provides only a broad and general overview of possible future infrastructure investment in the State.  In the meantime, the Government has committed very few projects to its Partnerships Victoria program, and those it has announced have been dogged by delays. (18 Oct)

TAC suffers $640m downturn

The State Opposition has called on the Government to develop a plan to guarantee   the long term financial viability of the Transport Accident Commission following a $192 million loss in 2000-01 compared with the $447 million surplus in 1999-2000. (27 Sep)

ResCode adds to uncertainty

The Opposition says that, while ResCode has some welcome elements, it has added to planning uncertainty and complexity and failed to address the problem of VCAT second-guessing Councils. (29 Aug)

Commonwealth Games legislation introduced

The Government has introduced a Bill giving the Minister for Sport and Recreation powers to declare Commonwealth Games venues and projects.  Upon declaration, specified legislation does not apply to those venues and projects. (23 Aug)

MCG redevelopment proposed

The MCG Trust has proposed a $400m redevelopment of the Melbourne Cricket Ground including an increase in seating to more than 100,000 people and the demolition of the current members' grandstand.  The Federal Government will provide $90m towards the project. (14 Aug)

Queensbridge Square for Southbank

The Government will close Southbank Boulevard to create a new "Queensbridge Square" pedestrian plaza near Sandridge Bridge and in front of a $750 million private sector residential and commercial development announced for Freshwater Place. (28 Aug)

Last-minute ResCode changes

The Government has announced 13 changes to ResCode and set 24th August as the date for its commencement. (15 Aug)

Minister seeks credit for $396m burden

The Opposition has pointed out that WorkCover unfunded liabilities have increased by $396 million since the Government came to office, and that the main change over the previous six months was that some of the more outrageous claims lodged prior to the Government's amended deadline for common law claims have been cleared out of the system for less than the original cost estimates. (2 Aug)

Government claims credit for WorkCover liability reduction

The Minister for WorkCover has claimed that the Government is turning around inherited liabilities after WorkCover's actuaries revised down liability estimates by $130 million, as part of an overall reduction in the unfunded liabilities from $1.07 billion as at December 2000 to $692 million as at 30 June 2001 – a total of $382 million. (2 Aug)

Expressions of interest called for Commonwealth Games Village

The Government has called for developers to express interest in constructing the 2006 Commonwealth Games Village, either at Parkville or another site within 5 km of the CBD. (17 July)

Doubts over Docklands choice for studio

The Opposition has questioned the wisdom of the Government's decision to build a film studio complex at Docklands, citing likely difficulties with the sinking of footings, as well as noise and vibrations, which threaten delays and high costs. (28 June)

$40m Docklands Film Studio

The Victorian Government will fund the development of a $40 million film and television studio facility at the Melbourne Docklands under the Government's Partnership Victoria policy, with a studio operator appointed by the end of the year, construction to commence in February 2002 and the studio to be fully operational by mid-2003. (28 June)

All-party Committee confirms WorkCover premium impact

The Opposition says that the report of the all-party Economic Development Committee into WorkCover premiums for 2000-01 has confirmed that the Government has grossly understated the extent and impact of its WorkCover premium increases. (20 June)

New WorkCover premium rises

The Opposition says that employers with payrolls over $1 million p.a. in almost one third of Victorian industries are facing further WorkCover premium rate increases of 20 per cent or more this year, despite Government claims that the average premium rate will not rise. Industries to be hard hit include motor vehicle manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, clothing, milk products and bus transport. (11 June)

Auditor-General's report exposes Federation Square mismanagement

The annual Auditor-General's Report on Ministerial Portfolios has confirmed an eight month gap in management arrangements for Federation Square following turmoil arising from the western shard controversy, as well as cost blowouts, quality cuts, funding shortfalls, industrial disputes and delays, the Opposition says. (6 June)

HIH claims "show Premier doesn't understand"

The Opposition says that claims by the Premier that proposed legislation to delay suspending the registration of builders formerly insured with HIH will resolve the difficulties of builders who are unable to work are wrong and show that the Premier understands neither the law nor the needs of small business. (29 May)

Legislation to defer suspension of builders' registrations

In the wake of the HIH Insurance group collapse, a Bill to be introduced into State Parliament will allow the Building Control Commission to defer until 31 July the suspension of a builder's registration for failure to have the required insurance, provided the builder can show that he or she is doing everything possible to obtain replacement insurance. (29 May)

ResCode risks continuing uncertainty

The Opposition says the Government's ResCode model risks continuing - and in some aspects increasing - complexity and excessive subjective decision making in the planning system and also has the potential to turn the building approvals system into a de-facto second planning system, provides limited protection for neighbours if a building surveyor wrongly allows a building in breach of standards to proceed and creates uncertainty about what rights neighbours will have in objecting to single dwellings that don't comply with the building standards. (24 May)

ResCode launched

The Government has launched its new residential planning code, ResCode, which redrafts the Good Design Guide and VicCode 1 to provide tighter numerical standards, extend some standards to single dwellings and confer limited rights on Councils to propose local variations to ResCode requirements. (24 May)

No Major Projects in State Budget

The State Budget has failed to provide any new major building projects as Kennett Government projects are completed, the Opposition has said.  Missing projects include the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds refurbishment, a 5000 plenary hall for conventions, revitalisation of the Yarra's Northbank and demolition of the Flinders St-Kings Way overpass. (15 May)

HIH package for homeowners

The Government has announced a $35 million package to provide cover to owners of completed or part-completed homes whose builders were insured with the HIH Insurance group.  The package does not assist builders who cannot start new projects because they cannot obtain replacement insurance, and the Government claims that "by the end of the month almost all builders who need new insurance will have it". (14 May)

Action needed for builders following HIH collapse

The Opposition has called on the Government to help line up temporary global insurance cover for builders formerly insured with the HIH group, so they can keep working while their applications for replacement insurance are being processed. (21 Apr)

Rule change caused extra premium rise

Analysis by the State Opposition of a submission by the Victorian WorkCover Authority to the Parliamentary Economic Development Committee inquiry has shown that a little-publicised change to the rules for setting WorkCover premiums has resulted in many Victorian employers missing out on premium reductions to which they would otherwise have been entitled. (8 Apr)

Density target dropped for April ResCode

The Minister for Planning has ruled out an put forward by the ResCode Advisory Committee to achieve a more than five-fold increase of existing density within 400 metres walk of a railway station, shopping centre or tram stop, at the same time announcing that he will "give the Government's response to the ResCode Advisory Committee's report" by April.  In an ureported part of his speech to a planning conference, the Minister nonetheless urged Councils to identify areas of their municipalities suitable for medium density development. (14 Mar)

"Info-Hub" to replace Federation Square shard

The Minister for Major Projects has dubbed an "Info-Hub" the 8 metre high building announced to replace the axed 22 metre high western shard at Federation Square, on the basis that the building will house the Melbourne City Council visitor information centre previously intended for the western shard.  The CEO of the Federation Square Management Company said that this was one of the last tenancies to be negotiated for Federation Square and that the $340 million project "is now on target for the first sections to start opening towards the end of the year". (28 Feb)

Indecision, unions, delay National Gallery project

The State Opposition says that Government indecision over the future of the water wall, and months taken to negotiate a site agreement with construction unions, have contributed to slippage in the completion date for the project from early 2002, as at the change of government in 1999, to 2003 as at announcement of awarding of the main works contract, with the risk of further delays before the redevelopment is actually completed. (26 Feb)

Decision reached on Craigieburn Bypass

The Government has reached a planning decision on the route for the $306 million 16.7 km Craigieburn Bypass linking the Hume Highway at Craigieburn to the Metropolitan Ring Road at Thomastown, to be funded by the Federal Government.  The Government has decided on Option Y,  recommended by the advisory committee, which the Government says will preserve nationally significant grasslands, protect the Merri Creek, and establish a new regional park. (21 Feb)

ResCode: vital issues still need resolving

The Opposition says that while the Advisory Committee report has disposed of the unworkable June ResCode draft, vital issues remain regarding the role of case-by-case discretions, the emphasis on urban consolidation, the adequacy of the numerical standards and the role of the proposed Neighbourhood Character Overlays. (Feb)

Report labels ResCode 'unworkable'

The Opposition has pointed out that the Government's draft residential code, ResCode, has been condemned as 'unworkable' and 'impractical and unacceptable' in the Minister's own Advisory Committee's report. (18 Jan)

ResCode Advisory Committee report released

The Minister for Planning has released the report of the ResCode Advisory Committee, which recommends a new model that the Minister says is to be "fully tested", with the Government "in a position to finalise the new residential code by the middle of the year". (17 Jan)

2000

Government refuses covenant amendments

The Government has refused to accept Opposition amendments which would limit the power of the Minister for Planning to take away the rights of home owners and others who are entitled to the benefit of single dwelling or other restrictive covenants. (30 Nov)

Sandridge bridge interest sought

The Minister for Planning has called for private sector expressions of interest to redevelop the Sandridge rail bridge. (5 Nov)

Harbour Esplanade for Docklands

A 10 hectare park and esplanade will be provided at Docklands at a cost of $25 million, to be constructed over 10 years. (24 Oct)

No excuses for breaking WorkCover promises

The Opposition has said that it is ludicrous for the Government to attempt to blame the previous Government for having to break its promise to fully fund WorkCover within three years, and for putting in doubt that its WorkCover changes would be paid for by a 15% average premium increase. (23 Oct)

Revised WorkCover liabilities estimate

The Minister for WorkCover says that actuaries Tillinghast-Towers-Perrin have estimated unfunded WorkCover liabilities as at June 1999 at $579 million.  This is a retrospective re-estimate taking into account recent claims and payments experience. The Minister has not released the estimated figure for June 2000. (23 Oct)

Government disarray on funding for WorkCover premium increases

The Premier has revealed in Parliament that extra funds will be provided to Government departments to help meet their increased WorkCover bills. However, the Premier's statement leaves unanswered whether non-government organisations such as community health centres and disability service organisations funded by Government will receive additional grants. (5 Oct)

Government releases draft Bill on Industrial Manslaughter

The Attorney General and the Minister for WorkCover have released a draft bill including increased penalties for breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the introduction of a new offence of industrial manslaughter. (4 Oct)

Office of Major Projects removed from Federation Square

The Minister for Major Projects has assumed direct responsibility for Federation Square, with the role of project director being transferred from the Office of Major Projects to the Federation Square Management Company, and $75 million additional funding to complete the square being approved by the Government, taking the total cost to $337 million. (2 Oct)

Federation Square: Minister, not Office of Major Projects, should go, say Opposition

The Minister for Major Projects must accept responsibility for the cost blowout at Federation Square and should step down from involvement in the project, according to the Opposition. (24 Sep)

ResCode: Radical Surgery Needed

The Opposition has called for radical changes to the draft ResCode, saying it is unworkable in its current form and suffers from cost, uncertainty, a "one size fits all" approach, excessive restrictions in some aspects, yet inadequate protections in others. (Sep)

Government commits $550 million to regional rail projects

The Government announced that it would spend $550 million from its Growing Victoria reserve for the introduction of high-speed rail services between Melbourne and the regional centres of Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Traralgon. It said the projects, having a total estimated cost of $800 million, would be funded as a public-private sector partnership under the Government's Partnerships Victoria policy, with major works underway by late 2001. (5 Sep)

Opposition launches WorkCover premiums inquiry

The Opposition has moved to establish a Legislative Council inquiry into WorkCover premiums by the all-party Economic Development Committee. (5 Sep)

$320 million hospital project

The Premier has announced a $320 million redevelopment of the Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre and Mercy Hospital for Women.  A new hospital with 470 new acute beds would be built on the Austin site in Heidelberg. The new Mercy Hospital would also be built on the Austin site with 128 adult beds, 60 neonatal cots and 17 delivery suites.   The project will be a public sector development.  The Government says this means the project will be up and running much more quickly than if private funding was sought. Construction will begin in early 2001 and completion is expected in 2006. (29 Aug)

Government makes concessions on WorkCover premiums

The Government has agreed to a package of concessions with employer organisations over WorkCover premium increases, including time extensions, full disclosure of information relating to industry rates and premium calculations to employers,  individual payment arrangements for individual employers who are in genuine financial hardship, immediate recalculation of premiums for those employers who had an automatic 20% increase applied to their remuneration, employers who dispute their premium calculations having their calculations promptly re-assessed and adjusted accordingly by the Authority, finalisation of the Small Business Packagewithin 1 month, and the business community working with the WorkCover Authority Board in a comprehensive Review of the Premium system this financial year including  Industry Rating, the experience rating system and discount rates. (14 Aug)

Hidden changes boost WorkCover premium increases

Thousands of Victorian employers are facing WorkCover premium rate increases of up to 40% as a result of hidden changes to the way premium rates are calculated, combined with premium increases already announced by the State Government, according to the State Opposition. (19 July)

Collins Street extension brought forward

The Docklands Authority will now fund the construction of a bridge to extend Collins Street to the Docklands waterfront at a cost of about $35 million, with building to begin next year and be completed by late 2002.  The bridge was previously to have been funded by developers of the Batmans Hill precinct of Docklands. (3 July)

Concerns over ResCode

The State Opposition has raised concerns about government proposals to allow two dwellings to be constructed on a single lot without a planning permit, about workloads for councils, neighbours and developers, and about fence height retrictions, under the draft new residential planning code, ResCode. (14 June)

Draft new Residential Code released

The Government has released a draft of a new single residential housing code, which the Government claims protects neighbourhood character, provides greater certainty for developers and opens the door for more creative housing designs. (7 June)

Opposition backs Geelong Guggenheim bid

The State Opposition has thrown its support behind proposals to seek a Guggenheim museum for Geelong, and has called on the State Government to give a commitment to the Guggenheim Foundation that it is willing to provide the $1.5 million needed to fund a detailed feasibility study into the project. (31 May)

Planning - Metropolitan Strategy to be developed

The Government will spend $1.5 million for a plan to develop a new integrated land use and transport Metropolitan Strategy for the whole of Melbourne, addressing  major development issues facing the metropolitan area and the state over the next 20 to 30 years, to be developed in partnership with the Transport Minister. (30 May)

Opposition will not oppose WorkCover legislation

The State Opposition has announced that  if the Government insists on proceeding with its "common law" legislation the Opposition will not block the Bill, on the basis that  reintroducing so-called common law legal actions was probably the most prominent legislative issue on which the present Government campaigned in the 1999 election. (9 May)

Ministers at odds over Docklands roads

The Opposition has pointed out that the welcoming by the Minister for Major Projects of the new Docklands circuit road refutes claims by the Minister for Transport that the Government was "forced" to close roads in the Docklands area due to threats of legal action. (22 Apr)

WorkCover decision makes Victorians three way losers

The Shadow Minister for Workcover says that Victorians are at risk of being three way losers from the Government's WorkCover decision, through an inequitable method of compensating injured workers, through premium increases and job losses, and through a return to rip-offs and cost blow-outs. (11 Apr)

Government announces "common law" package

The Government claimed it would increase WorkCover premiums "marginally" in order to fund the reintroduction of "common law" legal actions for workers injured on or after 20 October 1999.  The package also includes an "Intensive Case Review Program" for workers injured between 12 November 1997 and 20 October 1999 "including the chance, where appropriate, to access a lump sum settlement of their benefit", together with improved weekly benefits, improvements to pain and suffering (SNEL) benefits, restrictions on legal costs and a review of rehabilitation and return to work programs. (11 Apr)

Working Party report refutes claims about WorkCover

The State Opposition says Government claims that WorkCover is "in crisis" and "out of control" have been refuted by the Government's own Working Party in its report, which shows that WorkCover has been more than covering its current costs for each of the past 3 years, that if left unchanged it would return to the black by 2001 and that the main cause of recent WorkCover losses has been the cost of pre-1997 claims under common law.  The Opposition says the report also refuted the Government's claim that the current system provides low benefit levels to seriously injured workers and showed that WorkCover had been highly successful in reducing workplace injuries while also increasing total payments to injured workers. (8 Mar)

Premier announces transport proposals

The Premier has announced or re-announced various proposals for road, rail and port projects, said to total $1.5 billion, under the title Linking Victoria. These include an airport-to-city rail link, fast rail links in regional Victoria, the Geelong Freeway upgrade, the re-opening of closed rail lines, standardisation of railway gauges, the Eastern Freeway extension, the duplication of the Calder Highway to Bendigo, the Blackspot road safety program, and development of Melbourne Port. (28 Feb)

WorkCover premiums to rise

Victorian businesses face WorkCover premium increases of 15% or more under Government proposals to reintroduce so-called "common law" legal actions. (23 Feb)

Federation Square - western shard to go

The Government proposes to remove the western of the two shards at Federation Square, with its visitor information centre to be relocated to the eastern shard, following a review by former Labor Minister, Professor Evan Walker. (17 Feb) 

Federation Square - shard axing would make Victoria a laughing stock

The Shadow Minister for Major Projects, Robert Clark, says axing one or both Federation Square shards would risk making Victoria an international laughing stock for overturning the decision of an international architectural competition so late in the process.  (13 Feb)

1999

Record building activity in Victoria

Building activity in Victoria had exceeded $1 billion in October, establishing the highest monthly level on record. There was a $356.4 million increase in the total value of Victorian building activity for October 1999 compared to the same period last year,  a 52 per cent increase.  More than $2.4 billion of building work has been approved in the September quarter, the highest level of activity recorded by the Commission since its inception in 1994. (16 Dec, republished 21 Dec)

State Planning Agenda announced

The Minister for Planning, Mr John Thwaites, has announced the new Government's "State Planning Agenda", which the Opposition has described as "much ado about very little". (13 Dec)

For other archived news stories return to Archives.

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