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Southbank Residents Group

16 Apr 2013

Capital City Zone meeting

Recently I convened a meeting with the presidents of capital city zone resident associations to discuss our collective issues regarding planning. Within minutes of the meeting commencing, it was clearly evident that the planning frustrations and concerns expressed to me by many people in Southbank also extend across the whole capital city zone.

There is undoubtedly a rapidly-growing groundswell of residents across the city who are becoming increasingly incensed and disenfranchised with the State Government’s recent spate of development approvals with no apparent town planning vision or reasoning behind these approvals that, in many cases, contravene the Melbourne Planning Scheme.

Not only are residents becoming aggravated by a lack of openness and logic at the state level in its decision making, so too is the Melbourne City Council. To this end, council in a recent meeting unanimously decided to make public, high-rise planning decisions of the last five years clearly showing the decision made by council and the subsequent decision made by the Minister for Planning.

Council seeks to make decisions based on the certainty provided by the Melbourne Planning Scheme, while the Minister in many cases takes an opposing position.  Just what guidelines or town planning vision the Minister makes his decision on, we are left to simply ponder.

That’s why we’ve now confirmed a one-hour meeting with the Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy, to discuss our ongoing concerns and to provide practical advice on what we think the future of the city could look like if we work together on getting planning right.

Planning goes beyond simply guaranteeing residential development and must look at providing similar guarantees on supporting infrastructure.

It will be interesting to see if the recently created Government “super portfolio” of planning, infrastructure and transport – to be managed by Terry Mulder – will make a significant difference in the holistic planning approach taken by the State Government.

The ministerial meeting will be held in late May and will be one of several discussions with local and State Government representatives on residents’ expectations of great planning outcomes for our city. I’ll continue to keep you posted on our progress via this column and on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

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