Posted on 01. Aug, 2011 in Greening Victoria

A Baillieu Government audit of green wedges could see Melbourne’s “lungs” thrown open to housing and commercial development, the Shadow Planning Minister, Brian Tee, said today.

Mr Tee said Planning Minister Matthew Guy had confirmed he will write to local councils to seek their advice on rezoning green wedges.

“Mr Guy and Premier Baillieu are asking councils to help them destroy the green wedges,” he said.

“An ugly picture is emerging of councils being unwittingly co-opted by the Baillieu Government to help hand our green wedges over to developers.

“It’s mean and tricky.

“For the first time in more than 30 years, bipartisan support for protecting Melbourne’s green wedges has evaporated in the rush to placate developers.

“Our children will shake their heads at the Baillieu Government’s short sighted push.”

Mr Tee said Melbourne’s green wedges could be thrown open to housing and commercial development.

“When I asked the Minister in Parliament what limits, if any, the Baillieu Government would place on development in green wedges, Mr Guy would only rule out “high density housing”.

“This means he will look at anything else – commercial, retail and medium density housing. They have already said they will allow schools and religious facilities to be constructed in these zones.”

Mr Tee said Planning Minister Matthew Guy must also clarify transparency and accountability processes around the green wedge land use audit. A statement released by Mr Guy on the weekend failed to confirm independent oversight of the review.

“Mr Guy has attempted to restore public confidence in the openness and transparency of Victoria’s planning system in an unprecedented public statement on Saturday following weekend newspaper reports about green wedge land development,” he said.

“Anyone who read the articles would have been very worried about the integrity of Mr Guy’s planning processes. However, Mr Guy’s rebuttal statement curiously confirmed no independent body will oversight the green wedge review.

“Mr Guy has to clarify exactly who in Government is conducting the green wedge review, what are the review’s limits and who will oversight the review to ensure an open and independent process.”

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