greg-bursill.jpgGreg Bursill, Lovely Banks
Chair, Geelong Chapter
The Geelong Region Committee provides UDIA members active in the Geelong region with a strong voice advocating for their interests and the interests of better development in the region. Geelong and its surrounding areas are booming, and its position as Victoria’s second city has never been stronger.
The Andrews Government has committed to a Geelong Planning Authority and the UDIA’s Geelong Region Committee will be a key player in ensuring this Authority works in the right direction. The committee has been an active voice in the Central Geelong revitalization project, weighing in frequently on this state-significant project.

The Geelong Region Committee represents all the areas in Geelong and the surrounding region. 

The goal of the Geelong Region is to provide an opportunity for UDIA members including councils and referral authorities to interact, providing a peak industry body for the ongoing discussion of planning and development issues in these regions of Victoria.  

Spotlight on Geelong Region

- According to the City of Greater Geelong, $2 billion worth of development is underway or proposed
- Building activity is up 11.1% in 2014 from the previous year
- New dwelling approvals up nearly 20% in 2013-2014 from previous year
- Geelong’s Gross regional Product in 2014 $10.65b and increase of 1.9% from the previous year
- According to the Geelong Chamber of Commerce, nearly 40% of Geelong businesses said they are likely to employ more staff in 2015
- According to G21, State Government committed $300m to the Geelong region over the next 4 years


Plans for a Geelong Planning Authority

The Andrews Government has committed to establish a new Geelong Planning Authority. At this stage no details have been released, but the Geelong Region Committee has some questions:
How will this new body will work?
Will it replicate the former Geelong Regional Commission, a regional planning body disbanded by the Kennett Government in 1993; or will it create a new paradigm in planning and development in Geelong?
Fixing central Geelong seems to be the impetus for the GPA, but it could do so much more. Will taking the local politics out of planning really assist with reinvigorating the CBD or will the GPA be implementing a fresh approach?

As we continue to await the details, we seek answers around the Government’s plans, and what role the Council and the development industry will have in this new body. Clearly, Geelong is strengthening its position as Victoria’s second city and GPA could have a vital role in securing new investment and critical new jobs for its growing population.

Central Geelong Revitalisation 

Central Geelong revitalisation has been a key focus of successive local and state governments in creating a vibrant and active centre which supports investment and jobs across the whole region. The Central Geelong Action Plan was released by Council and, with the establishment of the Central Geelong Taskforce, there is a clear mandate from Council to implement the actions and bring life back into the city centre. 

The State Government announced the establishment of the Geelong Planning Authority but is yet to provide details of the operation and governance arrangements.  Speculation is that it relates to central Geelong and would be independently governed.

Consultation with the with the development industry is required to provide assurances that the new Authority will be positive for investment and not increase bureaucracy in the planning system.

City of Greater Geelong agreed to proceed with its ‘Managing Future Growth’ project which will investigate the future planning of the Batesford South, Bell Post Hill and Lovely Banks Further Investigation Areas.

The Committee for Geelong is relaunching Transforming Geelong, an initiative supported by many UDIA members. Transforming Geelong promotes key investment and strategic opportunities in the Geelong region and we’ll bring more updates as they arise.

Committee Members

Greg Bursill, Lovely Banks (Chair)
Nick Clements, Tract Consultants
Paul Abel, Villawood
Lisette Schlesinger-Hunt, Spiire
Matthew Fleischmann, Metricon
Ivan Norris, Premier Property Developments
Adam Jacques, Maddocks
stuart Lyons, WT Partnership
Matthew Hill, Coffey
Shane McGlynn, SMEC
Aaron Walley, Ratio Consultants
Drew Dalton, Dalton Consulting Engineers
Gareth Bellchambers, Ample Investments Group  


For more information please contact Hyatt Nidam, 9832 9600 or 



andrea-tomkinson.jpgAndrea Tomkinson, Tomkinson Group
Chair, Northern Chapter (Bendigo)
The Northern Region Chapter Committee brings together developers, engineers, planners and contractors whose work is focussed on regional development projects. We work collaborative with each other sharing knowledge and insights, and with Councils and referral authorities to promote and facilitate creative development solutions for Victoria’s northern regional towns and centres.
Our highlights over the last year have been constructive submissions to the Essential Services Commission, ongoing engagement with the City of Greater Bendigo, submissions to strategic work by Councils in our area, and functions with some insightful speakers and collaborators.
Regional growth is the future, with opportunity for creative population and town growth as we all work towards achieving clean energy and sustainable living environments.


Established in 2011, the Northern Committee delivers development industry representation in the Northern Victorian region.  

The Chapter provides an opportunity for UDIA members including councils and referral authorities to interact, providing a peak industry body for the ongoing discussion of planning and development issues in this region of Victoria.

The core activities of the Northern Committee include:

- S
ubmissions to Council and Referral Authorities on industry issues and planning strategies including regular meetings with the City of Greater Bendigo

Hosting a range of informative speaker functions

Providing input into UDIA policy on a range of issues, particularly regional issues, and representing industry opinion to a range of other industry bodies

Publishing opinion on industry practices to ensure that the professionalism of our membership base is recognised

Policy Focus


C215 Greater Bendigo Residential Strategy Submission

The formation of the Greater Bendigo Residential Strategy 2014 (GBRS) has been underpinned by a number of technical studies which inform the broad landscape of merit and constraint to establish the issues and options for growth. From this platform the Strategic Planning Department have after a range of considerations produced the Draft Strategy document for community comment before it was revised and subsequently adopted by council for exhibition in Amendment C215 early in 2015

Ultimately, whilst the UDIA supports the broad initiative of the logical increased development of existing inner urban markets, we are concerned that the necessary alignment of market forces is not in place to allow this market segment to move from its current position in the marketplace to a much higher representation in the medium term.

The further alignment of market forces as detailed in the UDIA submission are critical to the success of the strategy and we believe that the GBRS 2014 should articulate in greater detail how it will manage the reduction of these risks to provide access to the marketplace for the affordable volume of housing required.

Whilst there exists a need for change, there also exists a need for caution and balance in ensuring that the strengths of the market in supply and subsequent affordability are maintained. This has always been and will remain the strength to the inevitable growth and relative liveability of Bendigo.

Click here to view a copy of UDIA's submission.

A New Commercial Land Strategy

As part of the profiling of the key strategic planning framework being put in place for growth and development in Bendigo, the Commercial Strategy is currently on public exhibition at the same time as the Residential Strategy.

The objectives of this strategy are:

to recognise and reinforce the important regional roles played by the City, and in particular the strong retail, service and employment roles;

to maintain and enhance the economic competitiveness, performance and viability of the retail & commercial hierarchy in Bendigo and of centres within the hierarchy;

to ensure that the retail and commercial sector in Bendigo remains competitive and continues to provide opportunities for business development;

to ensure the most accessible and equitable distribution of retail and commercial floorspace across the City for current and future residents;

to provide a network of retail and commercial centres which is capable of absorbing new retail and commercial developments and is responsive to market demand;

to provide a clear land use planning and development framework for each of the major activity centres in the City, recognising the need to encourage a diverse range of roles and to identify key development opportunities;

to recognise the important social roles played by Bendigo’s retail and commercial centres and to provide for the inclusion of further community facilities and services in these areas; and

to encourage a pattern of retail and commercial floor space provision which maximises the range of transport choices available to Bendigo residents for their movement within the City.

Committee Members

Andrea Tomkinson, Tomkinson Group (Chair)
Damien Cranage, Total Property Developments
Cameron Clarke, Spiire
Jamie Horkings, Wood Grieve Engineers
Paul Bowe, Terraco
Julie Perez, Villawood
Murray James, Roberts Day
Darren Pitson, Dunlop and Pitson
Damien Tangey, Birch Grove Property

For more information please contact Hyatt Nidam, 9832 9600 or