The search for more industrial land in Frankston City is back in focus after Frankston City Council approved $100,000 in late March for “further strategic work”, including the creation of an “industrial strategy” in the next financial year. The money has been referred to the council’s 2021-22 Budget. The proposed new work follows the council’s 2019 Industrial Land Strategy Review and subsequent feedback received from the public and the Committee for Greater Frankston.
Land for the expansion of large industrial businesses effectively ran out more than a year ago when the last blocks sold in the city’s economic engine room, Carrum Downs Industrial Estate. The municipality’s four other industrial precincts – all smaller than Carrum Downs – also are effectively full, with just a few smaller blocks remaining. CDIE employs 8600 people – more than Frankston’s CBD – and produces $3.65 billion in economic activity each year – one-third of the municipality’s total economy based on pre-COVID figures.
Committee CEO Ginevra Hosking told the council last month that the land shortage was identified in 2016 and was quantified by the council’s own survey in 2018, yet earlier efforts to identify potential sites in 2019 had failed. “We propose an ecologically sustainable, hi-tech business park for the next generation of businesses and their employees,” Ms Hosking said. Asked if there was a risk of companies moving out of Frankston, she said this was “already happening”. Some businesses needed to leave because they had run out of space. Others might retain a Frankston factory or two but would find or build new ones outside the municipality. Asked about the difficulty of redrawing the urban growth boundary, Ms Hosking acknowledged this was true but said the council should at least “do the research into an eco-industrial park’s feasibility as compared to other industrial land options”.
After the meeting, Ms Hosking said it was good to see the issue being taken seriously now. “We’ll be seeking ideas and suggestions from our members at our AGM in May and feeding that into the council’s process.” The committee would also seek written submissions from the public, she said.