Posted on 21. Oct, 2010 in Clayton Update


  1. Will you commit to social and environmental responsibility and share your policy on these matters?
  2. Will you be accountable and measurable in terms of your policy execution?
  3. Who is considered more important: local residents or big developers?
  4. What planning changes you will advocate to increase effective community engagement in setting local standards for planning and sustainable development?


Q1. & Q2., Melbourne 2030 and Melbourne@5 million is the Victorian governments framework to protect our liveability now and for the future outlines the State Government’s policy statements. These are quite comprehensive and I invite you to read through these.

Q3. Local residents.

Q4. Land use and development plans and proposals can generate a range of views within a community which in turn reflects the different and sometimes competing interests or aspirations of persons and organisations.

Third party involvement in the Victorian planning system is recognised as an important component of a fair and equitable system. In Victoria, the Planning and environment Act 1987 provides for third party involvement when a council / planning authority is considering amending its planning scheme and when a council/ responsible authority gives notice of a planning permit application.

Community engagement and the mediation of conflict or disputes are important parts of both these land use and development assessment processes and are facilitated through a variety of approaches including, public notices, submissions, forums and review hearings. Before making a formal decision a council will engage with its community. In the case of an amendment to the planning scheme any unresolved submissions are referred to an independent Panel to hear from submitters, review their submissions, and provide advice to council and the Minister for Planning about the merits of the proposed amendment. For unresolved objections to a planning permit applications objectors can appeal to the Victorian Civil and administrative tribunal to have a planning decision independently reviewed and determined.

Although these independent review processes provide the community assurance that their views are considered in planning decisions, it is always highly recommended that the community is fully involved with their local strategies and plans are being developed. Both the State Government and local councils welcome and encourage input from the community in the development of long term planning of an area to support and facilitate sustainable development and enhance the liveability of our state.

Achievements – Planning

Labor has delivered a comprehensive and sustainable response to population growth through Melbourne @ 5 Million which builds on Melbourne 2030 and integrates with the Victorian Transport Plan.

Labor is investing in the revitalisation of major urban centres in Geelong and Melbourne’s Central Activities Districts of Dandenong, Broadmeadows, Frankston, Ringwood, Footscray and Box Hill.  We have also completed preliminary analysis to underpin planning for Employment Corridors. The 2010 State Budget included $10.4 million over four years for Central Activities Districts and Employment Corridors.

Labor has delivered a new Activity Centre Zone and applied it in Doncaster Hill. We are supporting councils to improve activity centres through the Creating Better Places and Expert Assistance Programs. The 2010 State Budget includes $8.3 million over four years to accelerate development in activity centres and ‘infill’ sites within Melbourne.

Labor is actively planning for future housing needs. We have commenced work with metropolitan councils to develop Housing Capacity Assessments to comprehensively evaluate opportunities for new housing. We have provided $1.3 million in grants to metropolitan councils to support them in this process.

The Urban Growth Boundary has been expanded to incorporate 24,500 hectares of developable land which is enough to create 134,000 new homes. This was fundamental to maintaining housing affordability.

Labor is taking the responsible action of releasing more land for housing alongside a clear plan to fund the basic services and infrastructure for people who move into these areas. Infrastructure in growth areas, particularly public transport, will benefit from a dedicated funding source in the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution.

Labor has made it easier and reduced costs for business and developers by streamlining the planning system and reducing red-tape. A new Urban Growth Zone has introduced a more strategic and enabling approach to planning in the growth areas.

The State Government is continuing to develop the SPEAR online planning permit approvals system and roll it out to planning stakeholders. 

Labor has established a Development Facilitation Unit to provide assistance with significant planning projects.

Labor is refocusing the role of VicUrban to play a more proactive role in providing housing in Melbourne’s established areas.

Modernising Victoria’s Planning Act

  • Since the Premier announced a review of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 in the 2008 Annual Statement of Government Intentions, the Government has been undertaking a thorough process of consultation with key stakeholders to develop a package of reforms to the Act.


  • The Act has served Victoria well for over 20 years. Our consultation has shown that there is broad agreement amongst stakeholders that the basic objectives, structure and processes of the Act are sound, but it does need some fine tuning. The review has been a good opportunity to reassess the Act and identify the changes that will best modernise planning processes and simplify the current laws to meet Victoria’s future planning needs.


  • This Government is committed to the continuous improvement of Victoria’s planning system, to continue to enhance the liveability and competitiveness of our State.


  • The reform proposals being developed focus on ensuring that planning decisions balance environmental, social and economic considerations and on making planning processes more efficient, which will facilitate investment and job creation for the State.


  • Public consultation has been undertaken on draft legislation for the proposed reforms to the Act. Many useful submissions were received.


  • Work has been continuing on the review and the finalisation of the reform proposals.


  • An independent Working Group has been established to provide the Minister for Planning with a recommended way to implement the objectives of key reform proposals. These proposals are:
  1. enabling the Minister to authorise a person to undertake certain initial steps in the planning scheme amendment process;
  2. introducing a new ‘fast track’ planning permit process for low impact proposals; and
  3. introducing a new assessment process for State significant development.


  • The Working Group will include representatives from local government, development industry and peak planning bodies.


  • The Working Group will provide its report of recommendations to the Minister for Planning after it has considered the views of stakeholders as expressed in submissions to the draft Bill and reached consensus on the most appropriate way forward with these proposals.


  • The Working Group is expected to make its recommendations by the end of 2010.


  • The final Bill will be introduced into Parliament at the appropriate time after this work is complete.

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