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Matthew Guy must DO THE RIGHT THING BY THEM – REJECT FRANKSTON COUNCIL’s REQUEST


Dear Minister Matthew Guy,
You are obviously gung ho for political advancement!
You appear to do anything to appease those with the loudest voices as well as all developers.
We ask you to please consider native animals which have no voice but ours.
NATIVE ANIMALS NEED YOUR HELP MINISTER GUY!

DO THE RIGHT THING BY THEM – REJECT FRANKSTON COUNCIL’s REQUEST
DO THE RIGHT THING FOR KOALAS especially !

"Planning" must encompass more considerations than just stretching urban boundaries

Mr Matthew Guy, Minister for Planning, Victoria
Level 20
1 Spring Street Melbourne 3000

Dear Sir,
Re: resolution that was passed by the Frankston Council on 20 Jan ’14 that Council writes to the minister requesting authorisation to prepare and exhibit an amendment to the planning scheme covering the rezoning of 42 ha of green wedge land in Stotts Lane, Frankston South for residential subdivision.

The resolution was passed 5:4 on the vote of the Mayor.

The Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC) Inc believes you should reject Frankston Council’s request:

Already Franston's Green Wedge nibble at

Frankston should not lose any more Green Wedge, after such huge loss to Peninsula Link, and recent rezoning for Peninsula Private hospital development. Development in this area will see the loss of land currently classified as Rural Conservation Zone which is covered by a Significant Landscape Overlay.

Habitat clearance is the greatest threat our wildlife faces today ; the land in question would further deplete what was a significant bio-link between the listed RAMSAR Seaford wetlands and the listed RAMSAR Westernport wetlands.

Native animals need habitat, or they die!

This land is an important habitat corridor for Koalas. Every spring male koalas migrate from Cranbourne Botanical gardens to mate with the female population that lives in Frankston South. Since Peninsula link opening there have been two male koalas killed on the freeway. If this vital link is lost the South Frankston Koala population will be locally extinct

There is continual loss of habitat in this area due to the new freeway, and little to no offsets in Frankston.

There is increased competition for habitat amongst wildlife, and more vulnerable species such as sugar gliders and woodland birds especially the the eastern yellow robin will also become locally extinct.

Local wildlife shelters are faced with a number of problems

An increase of wildlife that needs care - Less habitat to release rehabilitated wildlife

This means:

- We need to find more volunteers to help run our shelters - We need find more funds to rehabilitate and feed wildlife

- If we are unable to meet those needs we have to limit our services which obviously causes stress to both us and the community member we are unable to help.

Stotts Lane has strong conservation values that need preserving, and shouldn't be dug up for housing

The applicant has engaged BL&A to prepare a Flora and Fauna Assessment Report. This report recognises that the land contains areas of vegetation of high conservation and the area is of very high conservation significance.

-The Report states on page 10 that the property “displays good habitat connectivity”, indicating a connection between Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve and Frankston Natural Features Reserve via patches of remnant bushland. The report goes on to state on page 24 that “aquatic habitats of the study area are therefore considered to be of potential state conservation significance for fauna” and mentions the endangered Growling Grass frog".

This "Planning" violates previous planning policies

The proposed change flies in the face of:

-The long standing bi-partisan support for protecting Melbourne's Green Wedges.

-The State and Local Planning Policies for protecting Melbourne’s Green Wedges.

-Plan Melbourne's initiative to establish a permanent metropolitan urban boundary.

-The strategy quoted in Planning Scheme Clause 11.04-5 - Melbourne Urban Growth:

Contain urban development within the established urban growth boundary. Any change to the urban growth boundary must only occur to reflect the needs demonstrated in the designated growth areas.

Protected land for wildlife and conservation is not an "anomaly"

In 2011 Frankston Council refused a request for the land to be treated as an ‘Anomaly’ in the Review of Urban Growth Boundary Anomalies Outside Growth Areas. An amendment to rezone the land to a residential zone was also refused by the then Minister for Planning in August 2004.

No strategic justification has been put forward for the proposal; instead it has been assessed on a purely ad hoc basis without taking into consideration the wider implications. . Regrettably, to date, Council has not undertaken a Green Wedge Management Plan that would provide guidance on the future management and planning for the Green Wedge.

Population is being "projected" but not land for native animals and vegetation

There is no need for additional residential land in the municipality because, as stated out in Council's Housing Strategy. Frankston's projected population can be accommodated within existing urban areas.

The proposal is opposed by the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Federal MPs Mr Bruce Billson and Mr Greg Hunt, and State MP Mr David Morris. We understand that the Member for Frankston, Mr Geoff Shaw, is also opposed to the proposal as is Mr Johan Scheffer the Member for Eastern Victoria Region.

The proposed would result in the urban sprawl extending down onto the Mornington Peninsula and would eliminate the break that separates the township of Baxter from the urban area of Frankston.

This is in direct conflict with the Draft Frankston Housing Strategy (para 1.2.1), which states that the “South East and Mornington Peninsula Green Wedges provide a limit to the region’s growth to the south and east.”

Approval of the application would mean the loss of pleasant, picturesque, rural properties that contain stands of mature, native trees that provide valuable habitat and vegetation that is classified as being of very high conservation significance. The importance of the scenic value of the area is recognised in the Planning Scheme by it being covered by a Significant Landscape Overlay.

Proper planning transcends ticking housing approvals and opportunities for developers

Approval of the application would create uncertainty and encourage more such opportunistic proposals. This was acknowledged in the officer report in the agenda for the meeting which stated:

Council and Officers have been contacted by representatives for other land holders outside the Urban Growth Boundary in regards to either their future plans with their land or enquiring of Council’s view to future urban rezonings.

An enquiry in the north of the City is suggesting rezoning 356 hectares to residential, centrally in the city 22 hectares to industrial use; and to the south 8.6 hectares to residential.

This proposal has no justification, is contrary to State and Local Planning Policies, would set a dangerous precedent and urge you to refuse to authorise the Council’s request to prepare and exhibit an amendment to the planning scheme.

The Green Wedge must be maintained to protect its conservation, recreation and agricultural values. Green Wedges have played an important part in making Melbourne the 'World Most Liveable City'. Frankston’s Green Wedge makes a substantial contribution to the mental and physical health of the community.

Current planning is ad hoc, destructive and opportunistic instead of being holistic

Current planning laws only take into account wildlife value or need for protection if it is deemed threatened, and even then that is always not enough to secure protection.

Do the Right thing please Minister Guy

Kind regards

Maryland Wilson, President Australian Wildlife Protection Council

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Comments

One year ago, Sir David Attenborough said that only way to save the planet from famine and species extinction is to limit human population growth. "We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It's not just climate change; it's sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde.

Humanity's rapacious appetite for growth, and consuming numbers, is pushing wildlife and natural vegetation off the planet.

Australia's extinction rate is the highest in modern times. However, we have an economy based on housing, land subdivisions, and an increasing consumer base through high immigration levels.

Population Matters: Sir David Attenborough – 'I've never seen a problem that wouldn’t be easier to solve with fewer people, or harder and ultimately impossible with more. On a finite planet nothing physical can grow indefinitely."

Matthew Guy, our "planning", minister has locked in Victoria's economy to be based on population growth. Jobs are disappearing, and the growth is at odds with economic performance - and this stretching of the urban growth boundary, again, can't be justified.

The loss of koalas in the Peninsula would be another nail in their coffin, and no doubt Matthew Guy will proudly say these species are as disposable and not important as the economic benefits of high immigration and housing profits.

Update in the Swamp:

A large development proposal in the Tootgarook Swamp which was due to go before VCAT next month has been withdrawn by the developer.

This was one of many threats currently facing the Tootgarook Swamp's future and though this one is temporarily off the agenda we still have many encounters to face before the swamp inhabitants can breathe easy again.

On a positive note the local Shire council report into the Tootgarook Swamp will soon be presented to Councillors. The information in this report will help guide the decisions of Council on the swamp and form the path which is best for the Tootgarook Swamp. For our part we have high hopes for this report and are confident that the Council will makes the right decisions, decisions which the local community have long desired for this beautiful, fragile wetland.

Thank you for your continued support and don't forget to share the petition: http://www.communityrun.org/petitions/save-protect-and-rezone-tootgarook-swamp-on-the-mornington-peninsula

The struggle is far from over, but things are definately going in the right direction as long as we keep on pressing for it.

Real change happens when everyday people like you and I take a stand for what we believe in.

Thank you for standing with us on this issue.

The Swamp team.