Urban growth study

ESCALATING population trends in Gippsland have prompted Latrobe City Council to develop a long-term growth area strategy.

According to Latrobe City coordinator strategic planning Jason Pullman, Traralgon has been predicted to receive “the highest amount of growth” in the region over the next few years.

A Traralgon Growth Areas Review, which was commissioned by council recently, will aim to establish a strategy for urban growth options up to the year 2051.

“For the past seven years the Valley has witnessed strong growth so we want to adapt and meet that demand instead of rushing into it later,” Mr Pullman said.

“We’ve got to be responsive… this plan not only factors in Traralgon but the Gippsland Regional Plan as well.

“This plan goes towards meeting regional needs so it is a critical document not just for Latrobe Valley but all of Gippsland.”

In an interview with The Express Mr Pullman and Latrobe City senior strategic manager Swee Lim addressed the need to cater to a population boost of an additional 14,200 to 21,240 people in Traralgon by 2051.

Mr Lim said the finalisation of the Traralgon bypass route in 2008 played a significant role in instigating the need for a growth area review.

The finalisation of the route which cut into future urban growth areas had cost council “up to 30 years of residential land supply”.

“With recent rezoning we’ve attempted to put about 40 hectares… this project builds on that and looks at the long term,” Mr Lim said.

He said by initiating the Traralgon review council had “not forgotten” other towns, adding the impact of population growth in Traralgon would have carry-on affects in other towns. Mr Lim concluded smaller towns of Glengarry and Traralgon would also play “a significant role” in accommodating the Valley’s rise in population.