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Andrew Spencer

BSc (Geography), BA (Comparative Development), MUrbDes
+61 3 8616 0331

Andrew’s core expertise spans strategic planning, urban design and urban economics, through a career that includes 18 years in both consulting and public sector roles.

In recent years Andrew has been responsible for preparing a wide variety of economic appraisals includes feasibility studies, cost benefit analyses and policy advice on development contributions and value capture. Andrew managed cost benefit analyses of two key policy initiatives for the Victorian State Government: the Better Apartment Design Standards and the proposed changes to the built form controls and value capture arrangements for central Melbourne (City of Melbourne Planning Scheme Amendment C270). Both projects demonstrated a net community benefit as a result of these policy initiatives.

Andrew has also contributed to a range of employment land studies in New South Wales and Victoria over the past 10 years. Recent projects have included the West Melbourne Structure Plan for the City of Melbourne (2017), the Spatial Economic and Employment Strategy for the City of Yarra (2018) and the Gordon and Mephan Precinct Framework Plan for Maribyrnong City Council.

Andrew has taken lead roles in numerous housing policy projects in Victoria and New South Wales, including the Housing Capacity Assessment project, undertaken for the Victorian State Government. This project examined Melbourne’s existing urban areas to understand the potential housing supply under existing policy settings.

In 2015 Andrew was seconded to the NSW Department of Planning and the Environment to assist in the development of Sydney’s six District Plans. This role involved close liaison with departmental staff over a period of several months to collate various data sources into a unified set of long term housing projections.

Andrew was a central part of the team that delivered the influential State of the Market report for Landcom in New South Wales. This project involved analysis of the housing market and development conditions within the established areas of metropolitan Sydney. Research was undertaken to investigate barriers to infill housing supply in the metropolitan area and to identify the potential role for the government’s development agency to unlocking housing supply in policy preferred locations.

Andrew also led a project for AHURI and the Residential Development Council which helped them gain a broader understanding of the issues affecting the performance of Australia’s capital cities in achieving infill housing targets. Andrew conducted research to deepen the evidence base on factors that influence infill housing supply. The research used an Investigative Panel process designed to interrogate a specific question through direct engagement between expert panel members.

Other commission have included an assessment of options for funding affordable housing for the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, a wide range of site specific and strategic feasibility assessment assignments for Councils in Victoria and New South Wales, and the preparation of policy advice and expert evidence.

Andrew has close ties with Melbourne University where he has taught planning theory and urban design studies. He contributed to ‘Transforming Housing’ a major research project on affordable housing, preparing a research paper on a range of planning mechanism that support social and affordable housing, including densities bonuses, value capture and inclusion housing policies.

Prior to working for SGS, Andrew held roles at the NSW Department of Urban Affairs and Planning, the Urban Design Advisory Service, HASSELL, COX Architecture, and the NSW Cities Taskforce.

Project experience:

Employment land studies

  • Spatial Economic and Employment Strategy – City of Yarra (2018)
  • Industrial land analysis for new zones – Launceston City Council (TAS) (2017)
  • West Melbourne Structure Plan – City of Melbourne (2017)
  • Peer review of Southport Priority Development Area Development Scheme – City of Gold Coast (2014)
  • Implications of VPP employent zone changes – City of Yarra (2012)
  • Strathfield Economic Land Use and Employment Study – Strathfield Council (NSW) (2009)
  • Housing and Employment Study –City of Canada Bay (NSW) (2008)
  • Strategic Planning Study – City of Botany Bay (NSW) (2007)

Housing studies

  • Monash Housing Capacity Assessment – Monash City Council (2016)
  • Cessnock Housing Study – Cessnock City Council (2016)
  • Ballarat Infill Housing Study – Ballarat City Council (2014)
  • Lower Hunter Urban Renewal framework – DP&I (NSW) (2013)
  • State of the Market Report – Urban Growth NSW (2012)
  • Housing Capacity Assessment – DPCD (2011)

Cost benefit analysis

  • Economic Analysis of Apartment Design Policy – Department of Planning (WA) (2018)
  • Passenger Rail Improvements Economic Analysis – Greater Shepparton Council (2017)
  • Central City Built Form Review (Am C270) – DELWP (2016)
  • Increased greenfield minimum densities – cost benefit analysis – DELWP (2016)
  • South Road Expressway Alignment Study – DIPTI (South Australia) (2015)

Feasiblity studies

  • Moonee Ponds Activity Centre feasibility analysis – Moonee Valley Council (2018)
  • Housing Market Review – Penrith City Council (NSW) (2017)
  • Impact of affordable housing and development contribution on development feasibility – Department of Planning and Environment (NSW) (2017)

Development contributions and value capture

  • Peer review of ICP levy method and rates – DELWP (2016)
  • Bankstown to Liverpool corridor: value capture options – Transport for NSW (2016)
  • Funding options for CBD public realm improvements – City of Adelaide (2014)

Economics aspects of design

  • Valueing urban design on the Gold Coast – Gold Coast Council (2017)
  • Better Apartments economic appraisal – DELWP (2016)
  • Benefits of Wayfinding – City of Melbourne (2015)

Teaching and research

  • Development economics and finance – 2018 (UNSW)
  • Architectural Professional Practice – 2017 (RMIT)
  • Transforming Housing – 2016
  • Planning Theory and History – 2011 to 2013 (Melbourne University)
  • Economics and City and Regions – 2012 (Melbourne University)
  • Housing intensification and multi-dwelling housing typologies – 2009 (Masters Dissertation)

Expert evidence experience (Planning Panels Victoria and other hearings):

  • City of Monash Planning Scheme Amendment C125: new residential zones and development standard (2016)
  • Moonee Valley Planning Scheme Amendment C132: Moonee Ponds Activity Centre Parking (2016)
  • Flemington Hill and Epsom Road Advisory Committee: Evidence on on municipal boundaries, development contributions and open space (2015)


  • Spiller, M., Mackevicius, L. and Spencer, A. (2018) Development contributions for affordable housing: theory and implementation. SGS Economics and Planning Occasional Paper.
  • Spiller, M., Fensham, P. and Spencer, A. (2017) Value capture through development licence fees. SGS Economics and Planning Occasional Paper. ()
  • Spencer, A. (2015) Land capture, value sharing and inclusionary housing policies: Options for increasing the supply of affordable housing in Melbourne. Prepared for Transforming Housing research project, Melbourne University.
  • Sheko, S., Martel, A. and Spencer, A. (2015) Policy, Planning and Financing Options for Affordable Housing in Melbourne. Prepared for Transforming Housing research project, Melbourne University.
  • Schmahmann, L., Gill, J. and Spencer, A. (2015) Urban or suburban? Examining the density of Australian cities in a global context. State of Paper presented at the State of Australian Cities Conference, Australian Cities Research Network.

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