Coburg initiative puts billion dollar plan into action.

Article image - Coburg initiative puts billion dollar plan into action.

Call for partners for the future

The Coburg Initiative covers an area of some 35 hectares of which 12 hectares is in Council ownership and a further three hectares is owned by the State Government. One of its primary aims is to rejuvenate the residential opportunities within the central activity precinct and increase modern housing options, as well as integrating new community facilities into the hub of village life.

Improving public transport and overcrowded road networks are also vital, as are preserving and building on the unique character of the Sydney Road shopping strip, particularly at its intersection with Bell Street.

Moreland Mayor Mark O’Brien described the Coburg Initiative as “a once in a lifetime opportunity” to ensure future development preserves and celebrates the essence of what makes Coburg the place it is.

“Its colours, its exotic moods and vibrant sounds are what we love about Coburg,” Councillor O’Brien said.

“We love the public expression of Coburg’s great individual endeavours, the many hard working family based ventures, the fresh produce market and the diverse speciality enterprises along the main shopping strips.

“This is what brings people from all over Melbourne to shop here and share our love of food, music, culture, sports and night life.”

Streamlined planning

Moreland City Council’s Chief Executive Peter Brown said the Coburg Initiative also recognised that a clear and sequential process of design and implementation was essential to deliver the high quality urban regeneration needed.

“The Coburg Initiative had been designed to deliver the integrated development framework needed for both the community and the development sector,” Peter Brown said.

“This community has substantial assets to lay on the table and these assets position us well to get what we want.

“At the same time, the community is offering its new partners a streamlined planning process with strategic and structural frameworks already in place, which facilitates good business outcomes all round.”

He said the Coburg Initiative’s emphasis on innovative design and new technology would forge new frontiers in good urban planning.

“We have to build smart to live smart,” Peter Brown said.


Position, position, position

  • Coburg is located within the inner ring of CBD Councils and offers the first significant opportunity to showcase Melbourne 2030’s prime objective of achieving a more compact, more liveable and more sustainable city.
  • Coburg 2020 is three times the size of the Green Edge project of Banyule City Council and combines a large scale residential and urban renewal project with a restructure of retail and commercial sectors.
  • Like the Dandenong Transit City project, Coburg 2020 is focussed on building on the existing strengths and diversity of its communities, which encompass many socioeconomic, language and cultural groups, who have coexisted happily for many decades.


Imagine the world of difference...

Imagine … Coburg in 2020.

Imagine … Sydney Road’s wonderful 19th century streetscapes of turrets and towers, verandahs and ornamental façades celebrated as the centrepiece of a renewed city.

Imagine … doing away with traffic jams in Sydney Road and Bell Street, Lygon and Nicholson Streets and bringing back a focus on people.

Imagine … Coburg without its railway crossings, with the Upfield line extended to Craigieburn, and trams that go north to the Western Ring Road instead of stopping at Fawkner.

Imagine … Coburg as a city where sun and wind bring clean power to homes and businesses, and buildings generate their own energy rather than sucking from the grid.


Minister fast tracks Coburg’s renaissance

Victorian Planning Minister Justin Maddern has put State Government dollars on the table in support of Moreland City Council’s Coburg Initiative, a billion dollar makeover of one of Melbourne’s most exciting inner city activity centres.

In October, Moreland City Council formally unveiled its vision for the iconic Sydney Road-Bell Street precinct, releasing an expression of interest register that is going global, as well as local, in its search for the right development partners.

“The Coburg Initiative is an impressive and exciting vision that will be the biggest civic overhaul in the suburb’s history,” the Minister said at the launch.

“It has the potential to generate more than $1 billion in new investments in Coburg over the next 13 years and up to 3000 new homes and 65,000 m2 of additional commercial floor space.

“It will mean more business, more jobs and more opportunities.”

Moreland City Council was also selected by the Minister last month to share in a
$3 million seeding grant under the Brumby Government’s Melbourne 2030 expert assistance program for proclaimed activity centres.

“Expert help will include advice on the packaging of land and its development to achieve the best possible outcomes for the community and to ensure any planning scheme controls facilitate sustainable development,” Justin Madden said.

“Coburg was chosen because it is a development-ready centre that stands to benefit from funding to achieve on the ground development outcomes in the short term.”

The Coburg Initiative rolls out more than seven years of strategic and structure planning, undertaken in close consultation with Moreland’s diverse and growing business and residential communities. It defines an environmentally aware agenda for future redevelopment, incorporating renewable energy infrastructure, as well as decreeing opportunities for affordable and varied residential and commercial options.

Moreland Mayor Mark O’Brien said, in the first week after its launch, the EoI register had received more than 50 calls for project documentation from all over Australia as well as from a number of major UK based companies.

“The hunt is on for the right team of high calibre, innovative and imaginative development minds to partner Council on this bold venture,” Councillor O’Brien said.

“We need to breathe new life into the heart of Coburg and strengthen the foundations for its future liveability, at the same time as safeguarding the elements that make Coburg what it is.”


Be part of the action

The Coburg Initiative is seeking three categories of prospective partners:

  • urban design and development consortia
  • local landowners, groups and businesses
  • individuals, businesses or groups who want to be involved.

The Expressions of Interest Register will close on Valentine’s Day next year, Thursday 14 February 2008. All relevant documentation can be found at and enquiries are directed to major projects manager Robert Becker on (03) 9240 1111 or email