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Urban Land Authority

The Urban Land Authority (ULA) came into existence on 12 March 1980, replacing the Urban Land Council, a Whitlam federal government initiative conceived in 1972 and brought into being by Victoria's Hamer State Government in 1975 in response to scandals around the Housing Commission land deals of the mid-1970s. The ULA inherited a number of estates and responsibilities from its forerunner as well as surplus land from the government and the Housing Commission. It marketed allotments for new housing schemes (starting with Altona Bay, on 35 ha of Crown land in the city's west), as well as selling land for non-residential purposes. It also sought to implement government planning policy in affiliation with private interests and, where possible, in association with builders local to particular development areas. At the end of its tenure, it was responsible for more than 25 developments, mainly on the outskirts of Melbourne (such as Roxburgh Park) but also in redeveloped inner-city areas (Gasworks, Port Melbourne; Hawthorn tram depot). The ULA's board was typically comprised of five members: two State government officials and three individuals with a private sector background. It was responsible to the minister for Housing (from 1987, the minister for Housing and Construction). It became the Urban Land Corporation in 1998.

David Nichols