Melbourne growing too fast, Napthine

Herald Sun

PREMIER Denis Napthine says that Melbourne is growing too quickly.

Dr Napthine said it was a challenge dealing with issues such as congestion and maintaining the city’s liveability.

He said while the Government would like continued strong growth, “we’d be happy to have a more moderate population growth in Melbourne and much faster population growth in regional and rural Victoria”.

Melbourne is growing faster than any other Australian city, adding more than 77,000 people in 2011-12 to reach a population of about 4.25 million as of June last year.

Most of the increase was due to overseas migration, with the overwhelming majority of migrants to Victoria settling in Melbourne.

Dr Napthine said that population growth was positive for the state because “we believe it improves our economy, improves our diversity and our quality of life”.

“Our Government is firmly pro-population growth,” he said.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy said recently that on current growth rates, Melbourne would eventually overtake Sydney’s population.

“I think 10 or 20 years ago people would have been rapt at us being the largest city in Australia all over again,” Mr Guy said.

“Nowadays I don’t think that’s seen as a positive. People couldn’t care if the city was as big as Brisbane or as big as Sydney or whatever. We just want a liveable city.”

The Gillard Government has a record annual migrant intake of 190,000, as well as a planned intake of 20,000 refugees in 2013-14.

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