SUBMISSION…..MELBOURNE’S FUTURE PLANNING FRAMEWORK REVIEW
MEG is grateful to have heard of this review from Clifford Hayes (MLC Southern Metropolitan Region and we are surprised that DELWP didn’t send notice of the Review directly to us. We are also grateful to Mary Drost, Convenor of Planning Backlash. Mary forwarded this to all the residents’ groups in the network.
In our opinion this document should be called “just more of the same” rather than a “review.”
State Government Planning Reforms
We did not notice a reference to the recent ‘reforms’ to Planning made by State Government in this document….the reforms to which there was no community consultation, indeed not even consultation with local councils. Certain members of staff were consulted and had to sign confidentiality agreements.’ Surely these so-called reforms form part of the planning framework in which they are to operate and yet DELWP does not even mention that the ‘reforms’ give the Minister “unprecedented’ power and seem to be aimed at providing CERTAINTY for developers so WHY are these new powers not mentioned in a “Planning Framework Review.?’
There was no ‘engagement with the community’ over these outrageous invasions of our rights.
Regionalisation…..formerly known as ‘decentralisation.’
For some years MEG has promoted the notion of ‘decentralising’ the State’s population.
Strategically directed, incentive driven decentralization has been our mantra. This does not mean just nominating towns such as Geelong, Ballarat or Bendigo and having more transport between each of these centres to Melbourne. Doing this leaves Melbourne as the centre to which endless attention is paid. It means have a transport system that crisscrosses the State.
Big infrastructure plans should not just concentrate on what is proposed for Melbourne…such as that tunnel that has ground to a halt, a network of roads for Melbourne that, so far, has resulted in the destruction of so much green space, so many canopy trees that clean the air we breathe with the obvious effect of being a detriment to health. Combined with Local Councils’ efforts to FILL open space with STUFF this is a negative use of the ‘tax dollar.’
Big infrastructure plans should focus on building rail lines across the State linking regional centres with each other as well as with Melbourne, building tram lines in the regional cities, linking the regional cities with airports. This sort of thing is what regionalization is all about. If State Government made a real effort to be a government for the STATE and not just for Melbourne we could begin to see some hope of this city surviving.
Encouragement should be given to establishing manufacturing industries both in the regions and in Melbourne so that Victoria could become a centre for all of those things that are at present made in certain Asian countries.
Encouragement should be given to wealth accelerators. We cite the instance of the small company in W.A. that is experimenting with the notion of removing carbon from coal. The idea of offering incentives for manufacturing activities should be both city-based and region-based.
We should mention first that the Green Wedges do not have sufficient protection and this is a matter that State Government should deal with immediately.
No planning scheme (or ‘framework’) can continue to promote the wanton destruction of thousands of trees and fob off the protesters with that old perennial….”we will plant double the number of saplings.” All forms of Government say this forgetting just for the moment the number of YEARS it takes for a tree to develop a canopy that will start absorbing pollution, provide shade, counter the ‘heat island’ effect. Stonnington Council is as guilty of doing this as is State Government.
The push by Government for dense high-rise developments is a deliberate act of vandalism which is whimsically called ‘progress.’
We can find no mention of ‘ventilation’ in any of DELWP’s document and surely this matter must be dealt with in the light of our experience with COVID.
We can find no mention of the ‘flammable cladding’ scandal in the Review of the framework for “Plan Melbourne 2050.” Another issue that does not rate a mention.
With Melbourne’s population slowly decreasing due to COVID and more and more workers opting to ‘work from home’ now is the time to encourage a decrease in numbers for the city rather than putting forward a framework to handle an increase. State Government should grasp this opportunity and set out for the State a framework of development with environmentally sustainable objectives rather than spending an enormous amount of time and effort on producing yet another lengthy document filled with what has become known as ‘weasel words.’
In the category of ‘weasel words’ come such terms as……..
‘engagement with the community’… emerging character…. making Melbourne marvellous….. integrated transport…,,.liveability…..,,sustainability & resilience.
We have heard them all SO OFTEN…. We have even been guilty of using one or two of them at times.
State Government Departments such as DELWP could lead the way by using a new vocabulary as it develops new ways of developing the STATE instead of just more of the same only FASTER.
Initially the ‘zones’ provided the community with a degree of certainty. With the present Minister’s constant ‘watering down’ of the requirements of the zones such certainty is gradually being whittled away.
In the original legislation regarding ‘zones’ there was one glaring omission. There was, and is, no grading of Commercial Zones. It is all Commercial 1. A Small Neighbourhood Activity Centre can have the same level of development that is allowable in a Principal Activity Centre. This results in far too many anomalies and has resulted in
gross invasions of residential amenity in NRZ and heritage areas. This matter should be addressed.
Let us finish with an apt headline from The Age on October 12.2021
City’s new design mantra: Cut the ‘crap’