Residents in Wyndham Express Deep Dissatisfaction with Living Conditions, Prompting Urgent Concerns
In the latest social research survey on Melbourne’s liveability, Wyndham, stands out with significantly lower scores, highlighting a concerning trend. Surprisingly, the survey reveals that Melburnians residing in medium-density neighbourhoods in Wyndham express lower levels of satisfaction with their living conditions compared to those in the CBD’s skyscraper-dominated landscape or the greenfield housing developments on the city’s outskirts.
The 2023 Australian Liveability Census, published recently, has raised concerns about this disparity and suggested that the results should serve as a valuable reference for the Victorian government. The government is embarking on an ambitious housing project aimed at densifying Melbourne’s inner and middle suburbs, with plans to double the annual home construction rate to 80,000 for the next decade.
This comprehensive survey, conducted by planning consultancy firm Place Score, involved over 26,000 participants, including more than 3,000 Victorians. They were asked to rate their local areas across 50 different attributes, encompassing aspects like ease of mobility within their suburbs, the quality of local amenities, availability of nighttime activities, and their sense of social connection. Each area received a rating on a scale of 0 to 100, and PlaceScore emphasizes that its methodology has undergone peer review by Macquarie University.
While several Victorian local government areas made it to the top 10 list nationally, Wyndham’s liveability scores were notably lower, ranging from 55 -60, in stark contrast to the better-performing regions such as Port Phillip and Boroondara scoring a livability score of 75-80. This discrepancy is particularly worrisome, as Wyndham is part of one of the fastest-growing areas where a substantial amount of housing development is planned. The disconnect between the desire to accommodate more people in the least liveable region and residents’ dissatisfaction is a prominent issue.
Kylie Legge, the CEO of Place Score and an urban planner, points out that this trend aligns with broader patterns in Melbourne and across the nation. Typically, the best-performing local government areas are characterized by mature trees, local strip shops, and services, while the worst-performing areas are marked by rapid greenfield development and often lagging infrastructure.
Furthermore, the liveability survey explored participants’ willingness to recommend their areas as places to live, and the results revealed that, in metropolitan Melbourne, residents in the western region, including Wyndham, were less inclined to recommend their neighbourhoods to others. This underscores the urgent need for improvements in the liveability of these areas.
In comparison to the recent low liveability score of 55-60, the Council’s services to the community are also evaluated within the Local Government Performance Reporting Framework, and the results are included in the Annual Report, alongside findings from the Community Satisfaction Survey and audited financial statements.
The survey, conducted in January and February 2022 with 1,205 participants, revealed that the Council’s overall performance for the 2021/22 period was rated at 6.64 in the Annual Community Satisfaction Survey, falling under the ‘good’ category. However, it’s worth noting that satisfaction with Wyndham City Council’s overall performance notably declined that year, dropping by four per cent from 6.92 to 6.64 out of 10.