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Minister goes full steam ahead

15 Oct 2012

Planning Minister Matthew Guy has his critics in Southbank, but he has continued to make major changes to his portfolio, last month introducing reforms to planning policy framework to protect the corridor of the Yarra River.

The minister announced that he would be introducing Amendment VC96 to the Victorian Planning Provisions, which will protect both the Yarra and the Maribyrnong River corridors from over development.

Mr Guy said these two rivers were iconic in Melbourne and needed to be looked after.

“Protection of the Yarra and Maribyrnong river corridors will be a lasting civic legacy for future genrations of all Victorians,” Mr Guy pointed out.

“These reforms are the most significant set of environmental protections within the state planning police framework since the introduction of the Upper Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges Regional Strategy Plan in 1982.”

In what was a busy month, Mr Guy also introduced time limits on decisions to the planning scheme amendment process in a bid to speed up the entire process.

Mr Guy will enforce time limits on both his State Government as well as local councils, including the City of Melbourne.

“At present the average planning scheme amendment process is well over nine months,” Mr Guy said.

“New time limits will drive efficiencies in the planning amendment system and directly respond to industry concerns about delays that have been clogging up our planning system.”

Despite this, the press release accompanying the announcement acknowledged the time restraints won’t always be enforced, stating: “Exemptions may be granted where more time to process an amendment may be needed.”

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