MOTION TO RETURN PLANNING POWERS TO COMMUNITIES RECEIVES BIPARTISAN SUPPORT

Sustainable Australia Party MLC Clifford Hayes is delighted at the support from the Opposition and Crossbench he received for his Private Members Motion, aimed at restoring local democracy in planning issues and curbing the power of the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
Under the Motion, Councils will have more power to defend their communities from inappropriate developments. Mr Hayes’ Motion, which was passed on Wednesday afternoon, reads:
That this House calls on the Government to give greater weight to the local planning policy framework by – 1. Amending section 84B of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, so that the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal is required to give effect to local planning policies, rather than just taking planning schemes into account; 2. Amending section 60 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, so that VCAT ‘must’ rather than ‘may’ consider “any strategic plan, policy statement, code or guideline which has been adopted by a Minister, other government department, public authority or municipal council”, and;
3. Requiring the Minister for Planning to implement mandatory height controls rather than discretionary height controls where mandatory controls are sought, at the height requested by municipal councils in planning scheme amendments, either on an interim or permanent basis. Comments attributable to Sustainable Australia MP Clifford Hayes: “I want to sincerely thank my Legislative Council colleagues for the support they gave to this Resolution. I believe it shows there is support in the Parliament for real change to a planning system which is out of control and serving local residents poorly.”
“I am very encouraged by this support. I now plan to develop and introduce to the Parliament a Private Members Bill to amend the Planning and Environment Act consistently with the Motion I moved today. I plan to consult widely with Councils, resident action groups and other interested parties in preparing this legislation. I am very ready to work with the Government, the Opposition and my crossbench colleagues to develop a Bill which can achieve the support of the Parliament. “It is time we put a real say back in the hands of residents”.