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Government pours cold water on $25bn plan for towers from CBD to MCG

Ross and Russel & Neil Mitchell
Article image for Government pours cold water on $25bn plan for towers from CBD to MCG

Image: Connex Capital

The Victorian Government has poured cold water on a proposal from a private investment group to develop one of the biggest Australian infrastructure projects of all-time.

Connex Capital is pitching to spend $25 billion on 9000 apartments in towers above the rail lines between Flinders Street and Richmond stations. The project would also include restaurants, shops, offices and landscaped green areas.

The market-led proposal would not need state government investment.

“It will require no commitment from the Victorian taxpayer,” project spokesperson Sam Almaliki told Neil Mitchell.

He said people needed to be “inspired” to come back to the city.

But the state government said it would not be going ahead in its current form.

Neil Mitchell was sent the following statement;

“Government receives a range of unsolicited proposals from stakeholders and we’re always open to discussing new and exciting ideas for Victoria.

“The Connex Capital proposal is not currently being assessed under the Market-led Proposals Guideline.”

The government said the proposal did “not align with government policy objectives or demonstrate unique characteristics which would result in outcomes that could not be obtained using standard competitive processes.”

Connex Capital said it would continue to hold discussions with government about the proposal.

Press PLAY below to hear more on 3AW Mornings

Associate Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Melbourne, Dr Crystal Legacy, told 3AW Breakfast market-led proposals came with challenges, and the state government must be cautious.

“It’s very opaque, and that is it’s very hard to know what exactly the different pinch points are for decision-making,” she told Ross and Russel.

“We’ve seen market-led proposals before here in Melbourne including the West Gate Tunnel and we know all the problems that project encountered so we do have to be really, really tough on this government to make sure that whatever happens, it is a public process that has transparency and accountability attached to it.”

Press PLAY below to hear what Dr Legacy says must be kept in mind when considering the mega project

Ross and Russel & Neil Mitchell