Huge swathes of prime Melbourne real estate about 10 times the size of Melbourne Zoo are being wasted by government agencies and local councils, according to a new report.
University of Melbourne researchers identified 200 hectares of so-called “lazy” land owned by local, state and federal governments that could deliver more than 30,000 homes for low-income Victorians.
The 250 sites – predominantly carparks, one-storey community centres, shops and vacant military sites – are scattered across inner, middle and outer-ring suburbs, and have been acquired by various government departments and local councils over many decades.
They include a 50,000-square-metre empty block in Highett, a 10,000-square-metre car park in Coburg, a 2700-square-metre section of the Abbotsford Convent, and various tranches of inner-city land the previous state government bought to make way for the now-scrapped East West Link.
It took a team of researchers more than three months to create the inventory. In many instances, they had to rely on freedom-of-information requests.