MUST HAVE A SHORT MEMORY—PROPERTY COUNCIL AND STATE OPPOSITION

Comments attributable to Sustainable Australia MP Clifford Hayes

They want us to cut more red tape. Ask anyone who has opposed a six storey building in a two storey street or tried to protect a heritage building; the planning scheme and VCAT are already stacked in favour of the developer.

Ask anyone who has bought an apartment affected by structural cracking, leaking or
flammable cladding. The building standards are ultra permissive already. Red tape has been cut enough.

Barely a week ago, the Victorian Planning Minister announced the green light for a new 68-storey development, a new 41-storey development, a new 21-storey development and a new 20-storey development, all within the CBD.

Yet just a week later we have the Property Council, supported by the Liberal Opposition,
complaining that the Planning Minister is “dithering” and needs to approve more CBD high rise.

Are they aware of Stanford University epidemiologist Dr Steven Goodman, who says New York’s coronavirus toll has been much greater than Los Angeles because New York is
denser, and that “Density is really an enemy in a situation like this… With large population centres, where people are interacting with more people all the time, that’s where it’s going to spread the fastest”?

Future planning decisions must not merely respond to the desires of the development
industry, but must take into account what we’re learning from the pandemic. They must also abide by the local communities wishes, expressed though their local councils – which have been rendered powerless in opposing high density development.

The Victorian Government’s controls on the scale of CBD towers are anything but strict, and the Planning Minister is right to reject dangerous and selfish calls to water them down even more.