DEVELOPERS TRY THEIR LUCK IN VCAT TO COIN-FLIP ODDS, AT COST OF TAXPAYERS

Greedy developers are overturning more than half of Council planning decisions in VCAT, in some of Melbourne’s most heritage-rich municipalities. That gives developers, in many instances, better than coin-flip odds of overthrowing the council’s decision simply by appealing—at the cost of taxpayers. In some of the following municipalities, that number is even more worrisome: • Kingston City Council had 58.8 per cent of its decisions thrown out at VCAT in favour of developers. • Boroondara City Council had 59.2 per cent of its decisions thrown out at VCAT in favour of developers. • Stonnington City Council had 52 per cent of its decisions thrown out at VCAT in favour of developers. • Monash City Council had 52 per cent of its decisions thrown out at VCAT in favour of developers. Sustainable Australia MP Clifford Hayes said the statistics prove that VCAT does not represent the interests of communities and continues to show a developer bias. “VCAT does not represent the interests of residents,” he said. “Its decisions are overwhelmingly in favour of developers, rather than communities. “It’s just a toss of the coin; an inducement to appeal every Council decision and try their luck, at great cost to ratepayers.” “the State Government needs to give local council and communities more say in planning matters, so that vital decisions about Melbourne’s neighbourhood are made by democratically -elected Councils and not bureaucratically hired VCAT officials.” “We need better planning to stop overdevelopment.” A notorious example of VCAT trampling over Stonnington City Council’s decisions came with the approval of a 466 apartment complex at Orrong Road, Armadale. Despite garnering 600 objections and a Council refusal, VCAT overrode the decision and approved the development.