Posted on 12. Oct, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government should immediately set up an independent community forum to advise it on flagged reforms to Victoria’s planning system and restore public confidence, Shadow Planning Minister Brian Tee said today.

Mr Tee made his call on the steps of Parliament today, at a community rally to protest against the Baillieu Government’s adhoc and interventionist planning approach.

He said recent decisions by Planning Minister Matthew Guy had undermined the integrity of the planning system – including last month’s humiliating backdown on a Philip Island housing project following a tweet from Hollywood starlet Miley Cyrus.

“Victorians are sick and tired of being side-lined by the Baillieu Government in planning decisions,” Mr Tee said.

“Today’s protest representing about 20 different community groups across Victoria has made this very clear.

“From Moonee Ponds to Doreen, from Spring Creek to Ventnor, people have come from across Victoria to Melbourne today to send a clear message to Mr Guy.

“Mr Guy needs to listen to communities and start making planning decisions that deliver long-term community, social and economic benefits – instead of focusing on short-term profits for developers.”

Mr Tee said Mr Guy should immediately set up a planning community forum to bring balance and decency to the planning system.

“I call on Mr Guy to set up a community forum made up of planning and resident groups to provide him with expert advice on his planning reforms,” Mr Tee said.

“This forum would give the Baillieu Government much needed balance in planning and provide an alternative voice to the current expert advisory group headed by a man who for 14 years was a developer lobbyist.”

Mr Tee today also tabled a petition with more than 800 signatures calling for a halt to development in Melbourne’s green wedges.

“We now have nearly 4000 signatures calling for Mr Guy to protect our green wedge from inappropriate development,” Mr Tee said.

“Labor is determined to protect the rights of the community in planning decisions and protect our green wedge – because once land is handed over to developers, it is gone forever,” he said.

Groups represented at today’s Parliament Protest

Save Moonee Ponds

Sunbury Conservation Society

Stop Industrial Development in Greenvale

Residents Against Inappropriate Development In Doncaster

Spring Creek Defenders

Nillumbik Green Wedge Protection Group

Laurimar Estate resident group

Township of Lara Care Group

Werribee South & Western Plains Green Wedges

Sunbury Maribyrnong Valley Green Wedge Defenders

Grossard Point MOB

Save Spring Creek

Western Plains North Green Wedge

Friends of Merri Creek

Manningham Middle Yarra Green Wedge group

Southern Ranges Green Wedge

Westernport Green Wedge

Defenders of the South East Green Wedge

Mornington Peninsula Green Wedge

Green Wedges Coalition

Community Protest Manifesto delivered to Planning Minister Matthew Guy

Planning should be driven by the voices of the community and not the wallets of developers.

The planning process should be open, transparent and accountable. Decisions should be merit based and not determined by political donations or who you know in the government of the day.

Planning decisions should be made for the long term benefit of the community and not for short term profits.

The Green wedges and open spaces should be honoured, protected and enhanced not bulldozed for short term development outcomes. Once they are gone they are gone forever.

Planning should enshrine and embrace the look, feel, character and amenity of each local community and should avoid the destruction of communities associated with inappropriate development.

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