NCEconomics was engaged to perform an evaluation of three options arising from the review of Melbourne Water’s Greenfield Waterway Corridor Guidelines. The options involved different approaches to the retention of waterway corridors around waterways during greenfield development.

The primary approach used to assess the economic impact of options was a rapid, desktop BCA, supported by interviews with key Melbourne Water personnel and additional data gathering, as required. The options were assessed using MW’s risk assessment template as well as Melbourne Water Social and Economic Value Tool (SEVT).

Key costs and benefits evaluated included:

  • Revenue from the sale of lots, including consideration of forgone land sales in Option 1 and 2.
  • Avoided productivity losses associated with extreme heat
  • Avoided healthcare costs from urban cooling
  • Increased mental wellbeing
  • Property price premium
  • Access to recreational walkways
  • Amenity and ecological improvement
  • Removal of air pollution
  • Development costs (i.e. roads and pipes)
  • Revegetation costs (i.e. establishment and maintenance

Costs and benefits were identified based on impacted stakeholder groups, including Melbourne Water, developers, councils and wider communities. The assessment will support Melbourne Water’s deliberations into the preferred option, and will aid in discussions with stakeholders.

The anticipated outcome of these options are green eco-corridors, which will create opportunities for the community to exercise, relax and to support physical and wellbeing, as well as providing property price improvements for residents.