The ‘lazy’ 250 pieces of prime government real estate that could be houses

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.

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Source: The Age