Urban renewal and economic development
City of Greater Dandenong
The Revitalising Central Dandenong (RCD) initiative is supported by a $290 million commitment from the Victorian Government to transform central Dandenong into a vibrant and thriving economic hub.
The project is expected to attract more than $1 billion in private sector investment, create 5,000 jobs, and enhance Dandenong's appeal as a place to live, work and visit.
Around $700 million has been invested to date to rejuvenate and re-establish Dandenong’s city centre as the capital of Melbourne’s growing south east region.
Dandenong was once the social and economic centre of Melbourne’s south-east. However, during the 1990s and early 2000s, competition from neighbouring areas resulted in reduced investment in retail, entertainment, and amenity infrastructure.
Development Victoria is working in partnership with the City of Greater Dandenong, state government agencies, and the private sector to achieve the goals of the RCD initiative, encouraging new development and job-creating economic activity.
With Dandenong as its heart, Melbourne's south-east region:
- Produces almost half of Victoria’s manufacturing output
- Is home to more than one million people
- Is home to one in every three jobs in the greater Melbourne area
7ha project area
$1 billion private investment
Halpin Way, Settlers Square and the Pop-Up Park received an award for their contribution to the amenity of central Dandenong at the 2013 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects awards.
The delivery of key infrastructure and seed projects to kick-start Dandenong’s redevelopment are integral to the success of the RCD initiative.
The goal of creating new community spaces and facilities is to bring more people back to central Dandenong.
The RCD project site has been divided into 19 separate sites. Development Victoria is progressively developing these sites in partnership with the private sector.
Key amenities near the project site include:
- Public transport — Dandenong train station and bus interchange
- Recreational reserves and parks — Dandenong Park and Dandenong Creek Trail
- Private and public medical centres and hospitals
- State Government Services Hub
- Dandenong Market — Melbourne’s second oldest and second largest market
- Dandenong Plaza — regional shopping centre
Dandenong is located approximately 30km south-east of Melbourne’s CBD and forms part of the Greater Dandenong Local Government Area (LGA).
The RCD initiative project site spans 7ha of land in central Dandenong, with close proximity to Dandenong Train Station and major arterial roads including Lonsdale Street, Princes Highway and Cheltenham Road.
Key aspects of the shared vision for the Revitalising Central Dandenong initiative include:
- Inviting streets that provide easy and safer pedestrian connections around the city by day and by night
- Less traffic congestion
- A direct and attractive link connecting the station precinct with the city centre
- Improved public transport
- A compact and lively shopping hub with a variety of shops and places to visit
- A vibrant market well connected to other parts of the city centre
- More people living and working in the city centre
- More opportunities for learning
- Attractive public spaces for people to relax and meet
- High quality building designs, including high standards of environmental sustainability
- A character and identity that reflects the multicultural community
- More life on the streets, colour and green across the city centre
The Revitalising Central Dandenong master plan is the 15 to 20 year framework for delivering on the shared vision.
The master plan builds upon central Dandenong's rich history and heritage as a meeting place, a market town and a centre for business, employment, living, learning and retail. The plan was informed by an extensive community consultation process in 2007.
The Revitalising Central Dandenong declared area includes 170 hectares of land in the heart of the Dandenong CBD. The project acquisition area consists of seven hectares.
The declared area shows where new infrastructure is to be provided and the area directly benefiting from investment. It also takes into account existing and future land use patterns and areas for redevelopment.
The Revitalising Central Dandenong declared area was declared on 26 September 2005.
Community Engagement update - May 2020
- Community consultation
- Launch of Metro Village 3175 residential community
- City of Greater Dandenong opens the iconic Drum Theatre
- Shared Vision launched – $290 million funding announced
- Commencement of the Infrastructure Recovery Charge (IRC) as a 5% value capture mechanism, chargeable on total development value
- Community consultation – RCD master plan
- RCD master plan launched
- Grenda Corporation opens new HQ
- City of Greater Dandenong commences Dandenong Market redevelopment
- Completion of Arkana, the first commercial and residential building of its size in central Dandenong in 20 years
- Construction commences on Stockmans Bridge
- Construction commences on transformation of Lonsdale Street into a green and welcoming boulevard
- Grocon commences construction on the Government Services Office
- Dandenong's inaugural participation in the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
- Opening of a new western entrance, comprising Stockmans Bridge and the realigned George and Walker Streets
- Construction commences on Pop-Up-Park – a new recreational facility on Foster Street
- Construction commences on City Street and Station North Plaza
- Completion of Lonsdale Street transformation
- Pop-Up Park completed
- Completion of City Street and Station North Plaza
- Government Services Office completed
- Halpin Way and Settlers Square completed
- Work commences on new City of Greater Dandenong offices
- Dandenong Station transit interchange completed
- Work commences on the Australian Taxation Office building on Walker Street
- City of Greater Dandenong municipal building completed
- Work commences on the Quest Apartments building
- Completion of Australian Taxation Office
- Investment attraction continues for education, health, commercial and residential
- Completion and opening of Quest Apartments
- Expression of Interest process launched to redevelop sites around Foster Street (Sites 11 to 15)
- Release of Request for Proposal (RFP) to four shortlisted EOI bidders
- Delivery and launch of the multi-sport community park on the corner of Cadle and George Streets
Australian Taxation Office
The new ATO building on a site between Walker Street and Halpin Way.
State Government Services Office
A stimulating new office development in central Dandenong establishing government services in one easily accessible location.
The City of Greater Dandenong's new municipal building features an integrated community library and a civic plaza (Harmony Square) which includes seating, green space, plantings and a giant screen.
Dubbed the Federation Square of the south east, the civic plaza will feature screenings and events throughout the year and is a great meeting space.
Halpin Way is named after Sister Ann Halpin (1939—2009), an active community member who founded the Wellsprings for Women drop-in centre and improved opportunities for refugee and migrant women in the Dandenong area. Together with Settlers Square, Halpin Way provides an improved link for pedestrians and cyclists between Dandenong railway station and the city centre.
The transformation of the city’s main street into a green, pedestrian-friendly boulevard.
The multi-sport community court has opened on the corner of Cadle and George Streets. The multi-sport court can play host to a range of sports including basketball, netball and futsal.
Security features include lighting and CCTV, to keep the facility is safe and secure. The multi-sport court was built following a successful trial of a ‘pop-up’ park, at a site to the south along Foster Street, Dandenong.
Settlers Square provides a well-lit and active public meeting and event space for local residents, workers and visitors.
The square’s name acknowledges the early settler activity that established Dandenong’s reputation as a gateway.
A new western entrance into central Dandenong, crossing the railway line and linking Cheltenham Road with central Dandenong.
A $22 million 55-bed serviced apartment building, with commercial and retail space on the ground floor.
The City of Greater Dandenong’s new municipal building in central Dandenong includes a public square with seating and a giant screen, as well as a regional library, and council offices.
Stage: Complete, Project duration: 2011- 2014, Architect: Lyons Architects, Developer: City of Greater Dandenong.
Development Victoria took five parcels of land with a total area size of close to two hectares, to market through an Expression of Interest (EOI) process. Following a robust assessment process, four shortlisted bidders were invited to submit a Request for Proposal (RFP). Subject to execution of a Development Agreement with the successful developer in mid-2020, construction will begin, with a proposed completion date of 2030.
Stage: Planning, Project duration: 2019- 2030, Type: Precinct, Architect: MGS, Developer: TBD.
Quest Dandenong Central is a $22 million development, and has been operating since 5 December 2016. It has 95 rooms, and is a 4.5 star serviced apartment building operated by Quest Apartments.
Stage: Complete, Project duration: 2014- 2016, Architect: RPC Architects, Developer: Pellicano Group.
The eight-storey Government Services Office (GSO) on the corner of Walker and Thomas streets is a landmark new sustainable office building for Dandenong. The GSO opened in April 2012 and is home to 900 workers from five government departments. The building has a 6-star Green Star rating, features retail space at ground level, and an open-air deck on level four.
Stage: Complete, Project duration: 2010- 2012, Type: Public, Architect: Hassell, Developer: Grocon.
- Located in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges, Greater Dandenong was the territory of the Wurundjeri and Boonerwrung (or Bunurong) tribes of the Kulin Nation
- There are several theories as to what 'Dandenong' means: ‘Tanjenong’ means lofty mountains, possibly referring to the nearby Dandenong ranges; 'bad flour', or 'no good damper', a local tale about indigenous people obtaining a bag of lime and mistakenly using it to make damper; and a third version has the name Dandenong coming from 'a burning' and 'the past' reflecting bushfires in the Dandenongs
- The arrival of European settlers, severely disrupted Aboriginal living patterns, with a major decline in population from 1834 to 1850
- The loss of land, and the disappearance of traditional ways of life brought dramatic changes for local indigenous people
- Dandenong was a township by 1861, with 40 houses, housing 193 people
- Dandenong Market, which still operates today, commenced trading in 1866
- Dandenong Shire was proclaimed in 1873
- The Dandenong Town Hall on Lonsdale Street, was built in 1890 and acted as the Shire Hall, Courthouse and Mechanics Institute
- The post-war industrial boom brought an influx of European migrants to Dandenong, particularly from Italy and Greece
- In the 1950s Melbourne rapidly expanded to Dandenong, and it became a major metropolitan manufacturing and commercial area
- By the late 1960s, Dandenong was officially a suburban area of Melbourne, and central Dandenong began to transform with the redevelopment of the post office to a two-storey modern building in 1960, and Dandenong Railway Station in 1975
- In 1994, The City of Dandenong was abolished, and was merged with parts of the Cities of Berwick, Cranbourne and Springvale to form the newly created City of Greater Dandenong
- City of Greater Dandenong signed a statement of apology to the Aboriginal community to acknowledge them as first people of this land
- The Dandenong Livestock market closed in 1998
- Under the Melbourne 2030 policy, Dandenong was classified as a major activity centre due to its central location with regard to its access to transport
- In 2002 the State Government committed funding of $290 million for the Revitalising Central Dandenong (RCD) initiative
- In 2005, planning and construction commenced on the Metro 3175 project, named after Dandenong's postcode, redeveloping the former Dandenong Livestock Market into a mixed-use development consisting of housing, cafes and restaurants
- Due to the isolation of the site from the rest of the central Dandenong area, George Street was widened and extended with a bridge across the railway lines to improve access between the precincts
- Cheltenham Road, a major east-west arterial was realigned in order to remove traffic from nearby streets, and encourage pedestrian use
- The $26 million redevelopment of Dandenong Market commenced in 2005
- The RCD initiative was conceived in 2005 to restore the economic prominence of Dandenong and re-establish it as a capital of the south-east, in order to address the economic and socio-economic disadvantages prevalent in the region
The Revitalising Central Dandenong (RCD) project has been made possible through a $290 million investment from the Victorian Government.
The RCD initiative leverages private sector growth, and is enhancing Dandenong as a place to live, work and visit.
This injection of funds into Dandenong would not be possible without the recovery of a portion of the investment through the Infrastructure Recovery Charge (IRC), resulting in community benefits including improved amenity and infrastructure.
The IRC came into operation on 1 September 2006 and will remain in place until 31 December 2026, or the date upon which the Government’s investment in the RCD project has been recouped.
Development Victoria must be notified of all building permit applications prior to the issue issuing of a building permit, in order for applicants to fulfil their obligations of Section 18A of the Building Act. This is required for all works requiring a building permit, regardless of the cost of works.
Once Development Victoria has received the Section 18A notice, they are required to respond within 28 days, in accordance with Section 51W of the Development Victoria Act 2003.
The response from Development Victoria will either request further information about the application to determine calculation of the IRC (if applicable), or it will authorise the issuing of a building permit.
Should an IRC be triggered, a ‘Statement of Charge’ will be prepared by Development Victoria and sent to the landowner, and/or the tenant of the Site.
In accordance with the obligations outlined in Section 18A of the Building Act, building surveyors are required to notify Development Victoria of ALL building permit applications within the declared project area.
The City of Greater Dandenong updates Development Victoria of all building permits issued within the declared project area, to ensure that all building surveyors are fulfilling their obligations correctly.
Building surveyors who issue a building permit for a Site within the declared area without first notifying Development Victoria will be issued with a non-compliance warning letter outlining the breach.
Should this happen on multiple occasions, Development Victoria may report the matter to the Victorian Building Authority, advising that the surveyor in question is operating in contravention of the Building Act.
Development Victoria must give notice of payment (or exemption) of an IRC, or alternative agreement to the building surveyor. When this has been received by the building surveyor, they can proceed with the issue of the building permit.
Should the payment of an IRC be deferred, a 51Y agreement (effectively a ‘contract of liability’) may be entered into between Development Victoria and the party responsible for payment of the IRC.
By entering into this agreement, this allows the project to proceed and Development Victoria will approve the issuing of the building permit.
If applicable, the IRC is based on a percentage of the ‘development value’, whether this be for stand-alone building works, stand-alone subdivision works, or combined building and subdivision works.
How the ‘development value’ is calculated depends on the nature of the development, but is based on 5% of the building works, or the estimated site value of the land to be subdivided, or a combination of building works and the estimated site value.
In the instance of stand-alone subdivision (i.e. not combined with development, but subdividing into greater than two-lots), development value is the sum of the estimated site value of the land to be subdivided, and determined at the time of the subdivision.
For stand-alone building work (i.e. not combined with sub-division), development value is the sum of the site value at the time of development, and the cost of the building work.
Within the Development Victoria Revitalising Central Dandenong declared project area, the IRC is 5% of the development value.
For example: A stand-alone building works where the site value of the land is $250,000 and the construction cost is $400,000 (giving a development value of $650,000), the IRC would be $32,500.
The IRC is payable on the TOTAL development value and not just the portion in-excess of $339,840 (where $339,840 is the threshold amount for the 2019/2020 financial year).
If a portion of the development value is considered to consist of fitout works, there may be an opportunity to apply for a waiver of some of the IRC.
Certain developments are exempt from the IRC. These exemptions are outlined in the Development Victoria Act, and a few are listed below:
- 51A (2) The following classes of building work are exempt development under this Division:
- The construction of up to 2 dwellings on a lot
- The construction of the following buildings when they are ancillary to a dwelling –
- A garage, carport or shed or similar non-habitable building;
- A fence, mast, antenna, retaining or free-standing wall, swimming pool, spa or similar structure;
- The carrying out of protection work within the meaning of the Building Act 1993
- Except as provided in subsection (4), any other building work if the total cost of building work does not exceed the threshold amount.
- 51S ‘Infrastructure recovery charge not to apply to existing development’
- 51U ‘Infrastructure recovery charge not payable in respect of public land’
Please refer to the Development Victoria Act 2003 for further information, or speak with a staff member from Development Victoria if you are unsure.
The current threshold amount for the 2019/2020 financial year is $339,840.
This amount has been calculated in accordance with Section 51B of the Development Victoria Act 2003, with the threshold amount is indexed each year.
The threshold amount is also structured to allow land owners and tenants the undertaking of works to the value of $339,840 over a three-year period without having to pay the IRC.
For more information please contact
8 Exhibition Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: 03 8317 3400